Reno (NV) Police Department
Award Year: 2020
Safety Category: Officer Wellness
330 Sworn officers and 65 Civilians
The Reno Police Department (RPD) has been and continues to be, a leader in the cause of Officer Wellness. Continuing its pioneering work, since 2009 in the study and reduction of factors that promote law enforcement morbidity, the work of the RPD has been recognized by the Department of Justice in several forms and was published in a report by the COPS office in 2015. Today, the RPD shares its programming and the data it has gleaned from its initiatives to help improve the health and resiliency of its officers and those in the law enforcement community.
The RPD has a multi-faceted approach to health and wellness that encompasses fitness, diet, exercise, sleep, and helping officers to become resilient, as it supports their mental health. A core part of the RPD program is in cardiovascular health and reducing those habits of police work that contribute to diabetes and heart disease. The RPD has participated in studies, developed screening and lesson plans to train their own officers how to monitor their individual potential to develop heart disease and diabetes.
The RPD developed the Wellness Initiative Committee (WIC), which takes a totality approach in supporting its officer’s physical, mental and spiritual needs. The WIC has three main tenets, Focus, Education, and Mentoring. The focus is on identifying those in need and getting appropriate referrals. The education portion is providing the information and access to resources that address their officers’ needs. The mentoring or partnership portion is to help guide those who need help and to ensure that new officers are properly shepherded through the mine field of physical and emotional pitfalls commonly experienced by police officers.
The RPD has traditional and non-traditional options to improve physical fitness and officer tactical survival. The RPD offers tuition reimbursement for officers taking certified POST classes on nutrition, health monitoring, as well as, approved tactical ground fighting classes. The RPD has identified that 86% of force incidents ended up with the officer on the round with the suspect.
They offer fitness programs like cycling and CrossFit but also yoga, acupuncture and mindfulness. The RPD places an emphasis on combating “Insulin Resistance” which is a common problem in officers and leads to diabetes. The RPD has partnered with several private resources to improve nutrition and provide healthy choices in the station vending machines.
In its totality approach, the RPD provides sleeping quarters for its officers to take a restorative nap when approved by a supervisor. The agency also teaches about the use of blue light exposure prior to sleep to help induce the production of Melatonin to improve sleep cycles.
The RPD has bolstered its Peer Support Team program and are co-founding members of the Northern Nevada Peer Support Network (NNPSN.com).
As the RPD strives to improve they created a new position. The Embedded Resource Officer (ERO). This is a specially trained officer in Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). The ERO has a wide array of duties that include ride-alongs with officers, research, trainings, referrals and testifying at hearings.
The RPD has a continuing department wide emphasis on health and wellbeing through its social media messaging, roll call trainings, webinars and wellness fairs. The RPD has presented their programs to the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention, as well as the DOJ, IACP and other Nevada police agencies.
The RPD believes that it has saved countless lives through its advanced screening protocols using specifically developed lipid panels and cortisol level analysis. The RPD has recorded an increased use of their tuition reimbursement for different programs as well as, resource referrals through the ERO.