Five Critical Trends Impacting Law Enforcement in 2022

EDITORS NOTE: Earlier in the year we created a Trends Report for some of our clients and now would like to make it available to everyone who reads CopsAlive.com. While some of the statistics might be getting a little dated, the trends are holding strong. Please add your comments in the box at the bottom of the article.

CLICK HERE if you would like to download an executive summary of this report.

Introduction
There are a number of negative forces at work on the law enforcement profession right now that have never had such a powerful influence. These factors at their face value are menacing but it is the lesser seen damage that is truly hurting our profession, and its people, right now. What’s worst is that these effects will ripple through our industry for years to come.

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute has identified five trends in law enforcement and policing that are causing major shifts in the way we mobilize our personnel and provide our services. This report does not focus on the CAUSE of these trends but rather the EFFECTS these trends have on the well-being and performance of law enforcement personnel.

Some have labelled these trends as critical issues and others have called them a crisis. This report is not intended to get you to focus on these five discouraging trends but rather… make you aware of the cumulative effects these trends are having on you and your people.

The Top Five Critical Trends Impacting Policing in 2022
• Significant Issues in Maintaining Adequate Staffing
• A Changing Public Sentiment Toward the Police and Traditional Policing Practices
• The On-going Effects of COVID-19
• An Increase in the Level and Threats of Violence on Policing and in our Society
• Unaddressed Internal Agency Vulnerabilities

This report is intended to help focus your attention on managing the effects of these trends, and most importantly mitigating the combined impact that all of these trends have imposed on policing professionals.

Critical Trends in Current Policing Examined:

1. Significant Issues in Maintaining Adequate Staffing

Agencies around the world are reporting major challenges posed by short staffing due to excessive attrition, absenteeism, budget cuts, early retirements and in some cases firings.

According to WGN News Chicago was on pace to lose more than 1,000 officers in 2021 to resignation and retirement, the highest annual total since at least 2018.1

According to USA Today 130 Officers have left the U.S. Capitol Police since the Jan. 6 insurrection.2

Beleaguered Seattle Police face possible $10 Million budget cut according to the Washington Examiner. Seattle City Council members proposed roughly $10 million in cuts to the police department after Mayor Jenny Durkan floated a budget in late September that would have added money to hire more officers and fund hiring incentives to recruit more.3

According to the Seattle Times the Washington State Patrol’s hiring practices are under fire as the agency failed to diversity over decades. The Washington State Patrol is as vastly white today as it was nearly 20 years ago, before the agency’s first Black chief took charge. Throughout that time, the WSP has struggled not just to diversify its ranks, but to recruit and hire enough “warm bodies” — in the words of the chief — to fill its open trooper positions.4

2. A Changing Public Sentiment Toward the Police and Traditional Policing Practices

2021 saw a worldwide wave of challenges and pushback to the ways law enforcement organizations do business. The focus of the Police Reform Movement included a broad swath of legislation targeting the
necessity to use force, bias in how force is utilized, the use of military equipment by civilian law enforcement and the protections of qualified immunity. Some measures have persevered and others have been walked back. One thing is very clear, the public is scrutinizing the way policing is practiced and the penalties for abuse are being severely prosecuted.

George Floyd’s Family Settles Suit Against Minneapolis for $27 Million according to the New York Times.5

The city of Aurora Colorado agrees to pay $15 million to Elijah McClain’s parents to settle lawsuit over 2019 death according to the Denver Post.6

According to analysis by the Associated Press, Minnesota cases may show that Jurors’ are more willing to convict police officers. The AP reports some legal experts “say a robust protest movement in some cities, like Minneapolis, may be raising awareness, which could lead to a jury pool that’s more open to questioning officers’ actions, and prosecutors who may be more willing to charge – and succeed in getting convictions.”7

In January of 2022 three Sharon Hill Pennsylvania police officers were charged in connection with the Aug. 27, 2021 shooting death of an 8-year-old girl and the wounding of three other people outside a high school football game. The officers were charged with a total of 12 counts of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment. The three officers were working a high school football game and were stationed opposite the stadium’s exit as fans were leaving and shots rang out. According to District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer “The officers “discharged their service weapons in the direction of the Academy Park football field.” Investigators determined that the officers opened fire in the direction of the football field after two shots were fired in their direction while they were monitoring the exiting crowd, and Fanta Bility was killed.8

According to ABC News, the families of most of those killed in the 2018 Florida Parkland High School massacre will receive $127 million from the federal government to settle a lawsuit over FBI inaction.9

According to Global News Canada, Quebec has launched a major police reform bill aimed at modernizing policing and rebuilding public trust.10

There is some hope in this area as some trends are showing signs of reversing.
Cities vowed in 2020 to cut police funding — but budgets expanded in 2021 according to NBC News.11

3. The On-going Effects of COVID-19

In United States of America, from January 3, 2020 to January 12, 2022, there have been 61,332,277 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 833,519 deaths, reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). Globally, as of January 12, 2022, there have been 312,173,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,501,000 deaths.12

COVID-19 Was also the leading cause of death among U.S. Police Officers In 2021. Of the 458 confirmed law enforcement line-of- duty deaths in 2021, Covid-19-related fatalities are the leading cause of law enforcement deaths. To date, 301 Covid-19-related fatalities have been identified by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), and/or reported by departments, and it is anticipated that a significant number have yet to be reported by agencies. Covid-19-Related Law Enforcement Fatalities have Increased 65% over this time Last Year.13

Law enforcement is not alone in suffering vast problems due to the COVID pandemic. Health care workers have been hit particularly hard. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 80,000 and 180,000 health and care workers could have died from COVID-19 in the period between January 2020 to May 2021.14 In a COVID-19 Hospital Insights Survey conducted by McKinsey & Company in August 2021 “Increased workforce turnover and pressures straining provider operations”. In their survey they found Nursing workforce coverage is a continuing challenge. When asked about key challenges still faced, 84 percent of survey respondents reported continued challenges with nursing workforce coverage. In addition, respondents reported nursing turnover and vacancy rates have increased, on average, 4 to 5 percentage points in the past 12 months. This may only be the start of greater challenges, as 22 percent of the nursing workforce reported in our Spring 2021 Future of Work in Nursing survey that they may leave their role providing direct patient care in the next year.15

A report from NPR say that there are workers all across the food industry supply chain who are getting sick and staying home, impacting food production, manufacturing, shipping and distribution. In addition to workers becoming infected with COVID-19, there are those who have simply quit. The pandemic has turned grocery stores into “battlefields,” with employees required to work in person throughout the pandemic, explain food shortages and new public health measures to customers, and try to keep themselves safe and healthy in the process. As a result of that, a lot of people said, ‘Hey, I don’t need this,” and they’ve left their jobs in the supermarket. A recent survey conducted by the National Grocers Association found that many of its member retail and wholesale grocers reported operating their stores with 50% of their normal workforce.
Supermarkets are beginning to offer higher pay, better benefits and even tighter security to attract new applicants.16

4. An Increase in the Level and Threats of Violence in Policing and in our Society

A massive increase of violence in our society and against the police as well as threats to law enforcement and many members of our society has made for a very difficult time in our history. The FBI says that intentional killings of law enforcement officers reached a 20-year high in 2021.17 According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 61 officers were killed feloniously by firearms which represents a 36% increase over the 45 officers killed feloniously by firearms in 2020. The leading circumstance of firearms fatalities were officers killed in ambush-style attacks. A total of 19 officers were killed in ambush attacks in 2021, a significant increase over only 6 such attacks in 2020.18 With increases in civil unrest and a fractious political climate, threats and violence seem to have become a common part of our lives. Unfortunately, whether or not they are the focus of those threats, or that violence, law enforcement professionals are the ones who will have to deal with it.

In the first 24 days of 2022 The Washington Times reports, “A police officer has been shot nearly every day as a growing wave of shootings and other attacks across the country claimed the lives of four officers in less than a month.” The Times adds, “Through the first 24 days of the year, gunmen opened fire on cops 22 times, killing three officers, according to data from the National Gun Violence Archive. Another four officers have been ambushed in vehicle attacks.19

5. Unaddressed Internal Agency Vulnerabilities

Internal agency challenges, when left unaddressed, become vulnerabilities. Problems like employee suicide, organizational clarity issues and a “crisis management focus” rather than a “priorities focus”, are causing an unsettled atmosphere that inhibits wellbeing and optimal employee performance.

a. Operational Vulnerabilities Within our Agencies

Employee Suicides
While we need to be aware of line of duty statistics and how COVID-19 is impacting those, in order to take precautions, we really need to focus further on one of the “hidden dangers” of our profession that, despite a reduction in 2021, we still haven’t gotten a handle on – officer suicides!

Employee suicide is a major problem in law enforcement:

 

 

 

There is no excuse for not having a suicide prevention initiative within your organization. Suicide prevention starts with a discussion. We offer everything you need to start that discussion and begin an initiative today on our CopsAlive website, for free! Please visit: www.CopsAlive.com/SuicidePrevention for everything you will need. We have a link to a 12-minute video you can use in roll calls and staff meetings, two downloadable discussion guides and other resources to launch your program. Start your discussion today – Please!

Lack of Wellness Support Systems
Couple the suicide risks with a lack of wellness support systems such as psychological services, chaplaincy, proactive peer support, wellness education, as well as mentoring and family support programs, which are not standardized across our profession, and we have created a situation where our personnel are more vulnerable to poor health, poor quality of life, poor decision-making and huge liability. If they don’t feel comfortable in asking for help when they need it, then all of your other plans, programs and initiatives are worthless. Law enforcement principles are built on trust, and if your people don’t trust the organization to help them when they have the courage to ask for it, then you may not be able to trust them in situations where their professionalism, compassion, courage and decision-making count the most!

b. Organizational Clarity Issues

Organizational clarity in policing is about the unity of vision, mission, values, goals and community trust.
Organizational clarity problems can include pervasively negative organizational cultures; a lack of ethics training and re-enforcement, as well as training in problem-solving and proper decision-making can all lead to the erosion of an agency’s mission and values to a point where the organization can be challenged from the outside by public outrage, political scrutiny or federal government oversight.

Here is a simple test – Whoever you are, walk around your headquarters and ask people to tell you what the organization’s mission is? What are the organization’s values? What are their personal values? Be sure to ask the leaders too! Without a shared investment in purpose, values and goals, yours is a rudderless ship!

These problems can be liabilities and become costly in time, energy, money and reputation. The Parkland Families $127 million settlement against the FBI, the Floyd Family’s $27 Million settlement against the City of Minneapolis, Elijah McClain’s parents $15 million settlement against the City of Aurora Colorado all show a pattern of the community and justice system pushing back against “business as usual” law enforcement.

c. Crisis Management Focus rather than Priorities Focus

By its very nature, law enforcement can become a crisis response, reactive Band-Aid for all of society’s problems. Sometimes that mentality becomes so pervasive that we are always in reactive, crisis management mode rather than a more positive and proactive one. Couple that with our paramilitary, “toughen up – you can handle anything” mentality we have developed a natural ambivalence toward wellness programing. These issues cause many, many problems within policing but the often-overlooked impact on the well-being of the people who are supposed to be protecting and serving the public should be of critical concern. No matter how much equipment and technology we buy, policing is always going to be a people business. It’s about people serving and protecting other people, and our human resources are our greatest asset. The fact that we don’t now spend more time, energy and money on encouraging, training supporting, and sustaining them is our profession’s greatest weakness. A “Blind-Spot” that hinders excellence in policing. Finally, it’s also high time we reexamine the methods and practices we use in hiring, as well as the types of early warning and early intervention systems we put in place to assist employees who are suffering but won’t ask for help for fear of losing their jobs.

What Can We Do About These Issues?
Again, this report is not about solving the issues causing these trends, it is about managing the effects of the trends, and most importantly managing the combined impact that all of these trends have had on our personnel. The time to build wellness and resilience programs is now, not when we get more people, or the public isn’t so concerned about our budgets, or COVID is gone or the violence subsides. Wellness is our professional “Blind-Spot” and it’s time to remove it and focus our vision on helping our people!

We must take action now to help our people who suffer, so we propose a 7-step response plan:

A 7-Step Response Plan
• Promote wellness and well-being as mission critical factors in your agency
• Train to build individual employee resilience
• Enhance your agency’s support systems
• Bolster a positive organizational culture
• Focus leadership on people and their well-being
• Foster community trust by focusing on their well-being and the wellness of their police
• Re-examine our hiring, retention and intervention practices with a focus on resilience and wellness

Consider reading: Police Stress and Deleterious Outcomes: Efforts Towards Improving Police Mental Health20. The findings from this study support the literature that perpetual long-term exposure to critical incidents and traumatic events, within the scope of the duties of a law enforcement officer, have negative implications that can impact both their physical and mental wellbeing. These symptoms become exacerbated when the officer perceives that receiving any type of service to address these issues would not be supported by law enforcement hierarchy and could, in fact, lead to the officer being declared unfit for duty.20

An explanation as to why mental illness stigma is prevalent in policing, “Swinging the lead and working the head” is a research document from the United Kingdom that recommend Wellbeing initiatives including The Blue Light Campaign and more recently College of Policing Wellbeing Programme (2017) and Oskar Kilo which have made positive contributions to increase the conversation about mental ill health and reduce the stigma associated with it.21

In October of 2021 a panel of police chiefs discussed what can be done to maintain staffing levels at law enforcement agencies. The discussion by Steven Casstevens, chief of the Buffalo Grove (IL) Police Department (past president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police); Bill Harvey, retired chief of the Ephrata (PA) Police Department; and James Small, public safety director of Palmyra, WI, was part of a webinar sponsored by POLICE Magazine and Vector Solutions titled “Recruiting and Retention Through Excellent Officer Training.” The overarching issue addressed during the webinar was the role of quality training in attracting officers to an agency and convincing them to stay.22

According to the Harvard Business Review there is proof that positive work cultures are more productive23, and the University of Oxford says that happy workers are 13% more productive.24

Your agency may have experienced one of more of these negative trends but whatever that impact you may have suffered you need to do some self-evaluation about what the ripple effects of these influences is upon your people and their performance in service of your public.

We can help you!

The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) is an assessment, consulting and training organization. We work with law-enforcement professionals and other first responders, and their organizations, to help them be at their best. Our focus is on PEOPLE and their wellness and resilience. We collaborate to develop healthy people, agencies and healthy communities!

We believe:

If we don’t take care of our people, they won’t be able to take care of THE PEOPLE!

We offer custom made solutions using a Consultative-Training/Assessment* process to help your people and your agency to be their best. We can also train your people or let us turn your people into facilitators of our materials.

We support the health and resilience of people and organizations in the areas that:
• Create and Maintain Individual & Family Wellness and Resilience
• Cultivate a Positive Organizational Culture of Wellness
• Cultivate a Positive Community Culture of Wellness
• Build the Necessary Wellness Support Systems
• Promote Wellness Leadership
• Foster Community Health & Resilience to Build Trust and Positive Community Relationships

We also believe that wellness and resilience are symbiotic systems made up of several critical parts that must work in tandem in order for the whole to be effective. We help you reduce your “Blind-Spots”.

The Services That We Offer Can Include:
• Individual, Organizational, Cultural and Community Assessments
• Pre-Recorded, Virtual, Blended and In-Person Training in many areas of Resilience Building
• The Armor Your Self™ Facilitator Program where we train your people to facilitate our material
• Consulting to Determine or Support Existing Resilience Initiatives
• Executive Coaching to Support Wellness Leadership
• Executive Mastermind Groups
• Consulting and Training that Promote Trust and Positive Community Interactions

Give us a call at 303-940-0411 so we can have a conversation or CLICK HERE to send us an email requesting more information about all of our programs and services.

Please stay safe and stay resilient!

*Consultative-Training and Consultative-Assessment processes allow our clients and participants to determine what specific needs are critical to them today, and then help them build an action plan to address those specific needs. Training can then be targeted toward the implementation or innovation phases of those projects and activities. Many times these activities can be conducted virtually making them more accessible to groups that may not work in the same areas, or on the same shifts, and the video replays of live meetings are available to everyone 24 hours a day afterwards to keep everyone up to speed and in the loop.

CLICK HERE if you would like to download an executive summary of this report.

End Notes:
1 According to WGN News Chicago is on pace to lose more than 1,000 officers this year (2021) to resignation and retirement, the highest annual total since at least 2018. Source: https://wgntv.com/news/wgn-investigates/chicago-on-pace-to-lose-more-than-1000-officers-due-to-resignation-retirement/ Web accessed 12-22-21

2 According to USA Today 130 Officers have left Capitol Police since Jan. 6 insurrection
Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/12/07/capitol-police-lose-200-officers-since-jan-6/6415037001/ Web accessed 12-8-21

3 Beleaguered Seattle Police face possible $10 Million budget cut according to the Washington Examiner. Seattle City Council members proposed roughly $10 million in cuts to the police department after Mayor Jenny Durkan floated a budget in late September that would have added money to hire more officers and fund hiring incentives to recruit more. Source: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/crime/seattle-spars-over-budget-cuts-amid-last-gasps-of-defund-the-police Web accessed 11-17-21

4 According to the Seattle Times the Washington State Patrol’s hiring practices are under fire as agency failed to diversity over decades. The Washington State Patrol is as vastly white today as it was nearly 20 years ago, before the agency’s first Black chief took charge. Throughout that time, the WSP has struggled not just to diversify its ranks, but to recruit and hire enough “warm bodies” — in the words of the chief — to fill its open trooper positions.
Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/washington-state-patrols-hiring-under-fire-as-agency-failed-to-diversify-over-decades/ Web accessed 11-17-21

5 George Floyd’s Family Settles Suit Against Minneapolis for $27 Million according to the New York Times. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/12/us/george-floyd-minneapolis-settlement.html Web accessed 3-12-21

6 The city of Aurora Colorado agrees to pay $15 million to Elijah McClain’s parents to settle lawsuit over 2019 death according to the Denver Post. Source: https://www.denverpost.com/2021/11/18/elijah-mcclain-aurora-settlement/ Web accessed 11-19-21

7 AP Analysis: Minnesota Cases May Show Jurors’ More Willing To Convict Police Officers
The AP (1/18, Forliti) reports some legal experts “say a robust protest movement in some cities, like Minneapolis, may be raising awareness, which could lead to a jury pool that’s more open to questioning officers’ actions, and prosecutors who may be more willing to charge – and succeed in getting convictions.” The AP points to the convictions of officers Mohamed Noor, Derek Chauvin, and Kim Potter in Minnesota for shooting deaths that occurred while they were on duty. At the same however, Philip Stinson, a Bowling Green State University professor who tracks prosecutions involving fatal on-duty police shootings, “says it’s still rare for officers to be charged at all. … ‘What we’re seeing are, the officers are convicted in cases where their conduct cannot be rationally explained,’ Stinson said. ‘That’s what we’re seeing time and again. But we’re not seeing systemic changes as of yet.’”
Sources: IACP The Lead January 19, 2022 and
AP https://apnews.com/article/death-of-george-floyd-george-floyd-minneapolis-minnesota-shootings-44a6b8898a81d6cef3b749053463f3bf

8 In January of 2022 three Sharon Hill Pennsylvania police officers were charged in connection with the Aug. 27, 2021 shooting death of an 8-year-old girl and the wounding of three other people outside a high school football game. The officers were charged with a total of 12 counts of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment. The three officers were working a high school football game and were stationed opposite the stadium’s exit as fans were leaving and shots rang out. According to District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer “The officers “discharged their service weapons in the direction of the Academy Park football field.” Investigators determined that the officers opened fire in the direction of the football field after two shots were fired in their direction while they were monitoring the exiting crowd, and Fanta Bility, 8, was killed.
Source: https://nypost.com/2022/01/19/cops-charged-in-shooting-of-8-year-old-girl-after-pa-football-game/
Web accessed 1-22-22
and Time Magazine
https://time.com/6141116/fanta-bility-shooting-police-fired/ Web accessed 1-22-22

9 Families of slain Parkland students to be paid $127 million in settlement over FBI inaction. According to ABC News, the families of most of those killed in the 2018 Florida high school massacre will receive $127 million from the federal government to settle a lawsuit. Source: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/florida-school-massacre-families-settle-lawsuit-fbi-81337505 Web accessed 11-23-21

10 Quebec launches major police reform bill aimed at modernizing policing and rebuilding public trust according to Global News Canada. Source https://globalnews.ca/news/8433745/quebec-bill-modernize-policing-rebuild-public-trust/ Web accessed 12-10-21
According to the Seattle Times the Washington State Patrol’s hiring practices are under fire as agency failed to diversity over decades. The Washington State Patrol is as vastly white today as it was nearly 20 years ago, before the agency’s first Black chief took charge. Throughout that time, the WSP has struggled not just to diversify its ranks, but to recruit and hire enough “warm bodies” — in the words of the chief — to fill its open trooper positions.
Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/washington-state-patrols-hiring-under-fire-as-agency-failed-to-diversify-over-decades/ Web accessed 9-27-21

11 Cities vowed in 2020 to cut police funding — but budgets expanded in 2021 according to NBC News
Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/cities-vowed-2020-cut-police-funding-budgets-expanded-2021-rcna9864 Web accessed 12-29-21

12 In United States of America, from 3 January 2020 to 6:04pm CET, 12 January 2022, there have been 61,332,277 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 833,519 deaths, reported to WHO.
Source: https://covid19.who.int/region/amro/country/us Web accessed 1-12-22.
Globally, as of 6:04pm CET, 12 January 2022, there have been 312,173,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5,501,000 deaths, reported to the WHO. Due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 hospitalizations are increasing again. As of January 12, 2022 there are 140,612 Average daily Covid hospitalizations (Up 84% in the last two weeks), 23,337 Average Covid ICU hospitalizations (Up 37.1% in the last two weeks)
and 4,690 Average Covid child hospitalizations (Up 118.8% in the last two weeks).
Source: https://covid19.who.int Web accessed 1-12-22

13 The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2021 increased 55% over the previous year, according to preliminary data provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the leading authority on officer fatalities. According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), as of December 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers died in the line-of-duty in 2021. This is an increase of 55% from the 295 officers killed during the same period last year, and is the highest total line-of-duty officer deaths since 1930 when there were 312 fatalities. 61 officers were killed feloniously by firearms which represents a 36% increase over the 45 officers killed feloniously by firearms in 2020. The leading circumstance of firearms fatalities were officers killed in ambush-style attacks. A total of 19 officers were killed in ambush attacks in 2021, a significant increase over only 6 such attacks in 2020. Of the 458 confirmed law enforcement line-of- duty deaths from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021, Covid-19-related fatalities are the leading cause of law enforcement deaths. To date, 301 Covid-19-related fatalities have been identified by NLEOMF and/or reported by departments, and it is anticipated that a significant number have yet to be reported by agencies. Covid-19-Related Law Enforcement Fatalities have Increased 65% over this time Last Year.
From the 2021 END-OF-YEAR PRELIMINARY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FATALITIES REPORT
https://nleomf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/2021-EOY-Fatality-Report-Final-web.pdf web accessed 1-12-22

14 The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between 80,000 and 180,000 health and care workers could have died from COVID-19 in the period between January 2020 to May 2021, converging to a medium scenario of 115 500 deaths1.
Source: https://www.who.int/news/item/20-10-2021-health-and-care-worker-deaths-during-covid-19 Web accessed 1-20-22 1 The impact of COVID-19 on health and care workers: a closer look at deaths https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/345300 Web accessed 1-20-22

15 In a COVID-19 Hospital Insights Survey conducted by McKinsey & Company in August 2021 “Increased workforce turnover and pressures straining provider operations”. In their survey they found Nursing workforce coverage is a continuing challenge. When asked about key challenges still faced, 84 percent of survey respondents reported continued challenges with nursing workforce coverage. Sixty percent reported challenges with broader clinical support staff coverage. In addition, respondents reported nursing turnover and vacancy rates have increased, on average, 4 to 5 percentage points in the past 12 months. This may only be the start of greater challenges, as 22 percent of the nursing workforce reported in our Spring 2021 Future of Work in Nursing survey that they may leave their role providing direct patient care in the next year.
Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/increased-workforce-turnover-and-pressures-straining-provider-operations Web accessed 1-20-22

16 A report from NPR say that there are workers all across the food industry supply chain who are getting sick and staying home, impacting food production, manufacturing, shipping and distribution. In addition to workers becoming infected with COVID-19, there are those who have simply quit. The pandemic has turned grocery stores into “battlefields,” with employees required to work in person throughout the pandemic, explain food shortages and new public health measures to customers, and try to keep themselves safe and healthy in the process. As a result of that, a lot of people said, ‘Hey, I don’t need this,” and they’ve left their jobs in the supermarket. A recent survey conducted by the National Grocers Association found that many of its member retail and wholesale grocers reported operating their stores with 50% of their normal workforce.
Supermarkets are beginning to offer higher pay, better benefits and even tighter security to attract new applicants.
Source: https://www.npr.org/2022/01/12/1072462477/grocery-shortage-shelves-reasons Web accessed 1-14-22

17 FBI: Intentional Killings Of Law Enforcement Officers Reach 20-Year High
CNN (1/13, Krishnakumar) reports, “Last year saw the highest number of law enforcement officers who were intentionally killed in the line of duty since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an increase that comes as a rise in gun violence and homicides continues across the country.” CNN adds, “According to preliminary year-end data provided to CNN by the FBI, 73 officers died in felonious killings in the line of duty in 2021. The year marks the highest total recorded by the agency since 1995, excluding the 9/11 attacks. Gunfire has consistently been the leading cause of felonious officer deaths each year – and 2021 was no different. The FBI has not released its full end-of-year breakdown but reported that 55 officers were killed by gunfire in 2021 through the end of November, up from 39 in the same time frame in both 2020 and 2019.”
Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/13/us/police-officers-line-of-duty-deaths/index.html Web accessed 1-13-22

18 The number of law enforcement professionals nationwide who died in the line of duty in 2021 increased 55% over the previous year, according to preliminary data provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), the leading authority on officer fatalities. According to preliminary data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), as of December 31, 2021, 458 federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement officers died in the line-of-duty in 2021. This is an increase of 55% from the 295 officers killed during the same period last year, and is the highest total line-of-duty officer deaths since 1930 when there were 312 fatalities. 61 officers were killed feloniously by firearms which represents a 36% increase over the 45 officers killed feloniously by firearms in 2020. The leading circumstance of firearms fatalities were officers killed in ambush-style attacks. A total of 19 officers were killed in ambush attacks in 2021, a significant increase over only 6 such attacks in 2020. Of the 458 confirmed law enforcement line-of- duty deaths from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021, Covid-19-related fatalities are the leading cause of law enforcement deaths. To date, 301 Covid-19-related fatalities have been identified by NLEOMF and/or reported by departments, and it is anticipated that a significant number have yet to be reported by agencies. Covid-19-Related Law Enforcement Fatalities have Increased 65% over this time Last Year.
From the 2021 END-OF-YEAR PRELIMINARY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FATALITIES REPORT
https://nleomf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/2021-EOY-Fatality-Report-Final-web.pdf web accessed 1-12-22

19 Violent Attacks On Officers On The Rise In 2022 (IACP The Lead)
The Washington Times (1/24, Mordock) reports, “A police officer has been shot nearly every day this year as a growing wave of shootings and other attacks across the country claimed the lives of four officers in less than a month.” The Times adds, “Through the first 24 days of the year, gunmen opened fire on cops 22 times, killing three officers, according to data from the National Gun Violence Archive. Another four officers have been ambushed in vehicle attacks. One incident resulted in the death of a Houston police officer over the weekend.” According to the Times, “Even two police dogs have died in the line of duty: one stabbed by a suspect and the other killed by a passenger car during a traffic stop. Last year was the deadliest on record for police officers, according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.”
Source: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jan/24/violent-attacks-against-police-officers-rise-2022/ Web accessed 1-25-22

20 Consider reading: Police Stress and Deleterious Outcomes: Efforts Towards Improving Police Mental Health. The findings from this study support the literature that perpetual long-term exposure to critical incidents and traumatic events, within the scope of the duties of a law enforcement officer, have negative implications that can impact both their physical and mental wellbeing. These symptoms become exacerbated when the officer perceives that receiving any type of service to address these issues would not be supported by law enforcement hierarchy and could, in fact, lead to the officer being declared unfit for duty.
Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34776601/ Web accessed 12-21-21

21 “Swinging the lead and working the head: – An explanation as to why mental illness stigma is prevalent in policing, is a research document from the United Kingdom that recommend Wellbeing initiatives including The Blue Light Campaign and more recently College of Policing Wellbeing Programme (2017) and Oskar Kilo which have made positive contributions to increase the conversation about mental ill health and reduce the stigma associated with it.
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355904169_%27Swinging_the_lead_and_working_the_head%27_-_An_explanation_as_to_why_mental_illness_stigma_is_prevalent_in_policing Web accessed 12-21-21

22 In October of 2021 a panel of police chiefs discussed what can be done to maintain staffing levels at law enforcement agencies. The discussion by Steven Casstevens, chief of the Buffalo Grove (IL) Police Department (past president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police); Bill Harvey, retired chief of the Ephrata (PA) Police Department; and James Small, public safety director of Palmyra, WI, was part of a webinar sponsored by POLICE Magazine and Vector Solutions titled “Recruiting and Retention Through Excellent Officer Training.” The overarching issue addressed during the webinar was the role of quality training in attracting officers to an agency and convincing them to stay.
Source: https://www.policemag.com/624089/can-training-boost-your-agencys-recruitment-and-retention Web accessed 11-10-21

23 According to the Harvard Business Review there is proof that positive work cultures are more productive. Source: https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive Web accessed 12-5-21

24 The University of Oxford says that happy workers are 13% more productive. Source: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-10-24-happy-workers-are-13-more-productive Web accessed 12-5-21

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John Marx was a Police Officer for twenty-three years and served as a Hostage Negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance initiative through the police department's Community Policing project. Today John combines his skills to consult with businesses about improving both their security and their customer service programs. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was devastated and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into CopsAlive.com. Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! CopsAlive.com gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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