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Special Feature: Law Enforcement Resources

Law Enforcement images: police shield, police officer and uniform

The job of a law enforcement officer requires response to all types of situations, often with little preparation. Every day presents an officer with new challenges and new scenarios. These challenges can be stressful and both mentally and physically demanding.

It is not uncommon or unusual for these critical incidents to weigh on officers, making it difficult for them to maintain resiliency. An officer's mental wellness is just as vital to their job performance and overall health and well-being as their physical health.

In support of officers across the country, the Office of Justice Programs provides scientifically-based information and tools to assist agencies in establishing improved practices and protocols to help keep officers safe.

Vicarious trauma is an ongoing challenge for officers that can have long-lasting effects on those who are exposed to traumatic incidents and who work closely with crime victims. The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit from the Office for Victims of Crime provides supportive resources for agencies to address the needs of their personnel.

Firearms continue to be one of the most dangerous threats faced by law enforcement officers in the United States. Between 1987 and 2015, more than 70,000 officers were assaulted by firearms and more than 1,700 officers were killed by a firearm, according to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted Program.

But over the past 30 years, ballistic-resistant body armor has saved the lives of more than 3,000 police officers. Through its Standards and Testing program, the National Institute of Justice works to ensure to the degree possible that body armor and other equipment is safe, reliable, and performs according to established minimum requirements.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor the federal, state, municipal, and tribal officers who die or are disabled in the line of duty. He also designated the week in which Peace Officers Memorial Day falls as National Police Week, a tradition that continues today.

Select a page from the "Law Enforcement Resources" box for additional information and resources produced or sponsored by OJP and other federal sources.

Links from the NCJRS website to non-federal sites do not constitute an endorsement by NCJRS or its sponsors. NCJRS is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of any off-site pages that are referenced, nor does NCJRS guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of information. NCJRS is also not responsible for the use of, or results obtained from the use of, the information. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from non-federal sites.