Photos courtesy of Texas State University ALERRT Center
OverviewPreventing, Surviving, and Responding to Violent EncountersShielding Officers from InjuryOfficer Safety Resources for Law Enforcement LeadersReducing Overall Violence in CommunitiesSupporting Officers, Their Survivors, and Agencies.
OverviewEvery line-of-duty death is tragic. Our nation has observed a shocking increase in felonious assaults on law enforcement officers. In 2010, officer deaths rose to an all time high with a recorded 56 officers feloniously killed in the line of duty.1 In recent years, firearms-related fatalities have been the primary cause of law enforcement deaths.2 Regrettably, 1,799 law enforcement officers have lost their lives in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of 1 death every 53 hours, or 164 deaths per year. And on average, more than 53,000 law enforcement officers are assaulted each year, resulting in approximately 16,000 injuries.3Each loss of a hero results in long-standing ramifications for the family of the deceased and the law enforcement agency where the officer served, and each loss chips away at the public's confidence in the safety of our nation's communities. Protecting our officers is imperative and requires a holistic approach that includes extensive preparation through tactical training and continued efforts to promote and maintain officers' mental and emotional wellness, and their physical health as well.The safety of our nation's officers is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2011, the Attorney General released the Officer Safety Toolkit, designed to share resources with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement leaders in an effort to promote officer safety. These resources include technical training, deconfliction services, and funding information. Since its release, approximately 5,000 print and electronic copies of the toolkit have been distributed nationwide. It is available online at www.valorforblue.org..
Preventing, Surviving, and Responding to Violent Encounters VALORwww.valorforblue.orgBJA's Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Program is a U.S. Attorney General initiative that helps law enforcement officers respond to the precipitous increase in ambush-style assaults that have taken the lives of many officers in recent years. Through VALOR, state, local, and tribal law enforcement leaders and officers throughout the nation receive training and technical assistance, and detailed analyses of past attacks on officers. VALOR examines these violent encounters through after-action reviews and lessons-learned publications to determine what happened, how the incidents could have been prevented, and what skills officers need to have to survive similar attacks.
"I have 21 years of law enforcement training and experience. I do not believe that I have had the opportunity to receive as much vital officer survival training in the span of two days in all my 21 years. The quality of what I learned in VALOR is priceless for officer safety and survival.” –VALOR Regional Training Participant
Officers can attend regional trainings and specialized classes customized to their agencies' specific needs, and access training through web-based sessions and in-person seminars. During the trainings, officers learn about and discuss "The Deadly Mix" framework-the officer, offender, and circumstances that brought them together-and learn techniques for identifying armed subjects and recognizing indicators that a violent attack may be forthcoming. They also acquire information about emerging threats and specific threat groups.
“Today I was involved in an arrest of a suspect who had two handguns and a knife. Your class gave me the insight to immediately recognize the suspect’s refusal to be placed at a tactical disadvantage. …as a result (I) recovered a handgun from his waist and a knife from his back pocket….I was in your class last Thursday to survive today...tomorrow....and in the next encounter.” – VALOR Regional Training Participant
To date, thousands have been trained, and more than 200 officers involved in situations where shots were fired have been interviewed. With the information gathered from these interviews, the program will create outreach materials for the field and revise training curricula, thereby ensuring that all VALOR trainings are up to date and reflect real-world scenarios.
VALOR training courses and materials include:
Photo courtesy of Institute for Intergovernmental Research
“This was by far some of the best training I have had. It was taught well. This class should be required for all officers, starting at the academy level.” – Train-the-Trainer Workshop Participant
To learn more about ALERRT’s active shooter training through VALOR and our partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, go to the Active Shooter Response Training page.
VALOR is proud to have as its partners:
Attention: Interested in learning how your law enforcement agency can bring VALOR training to your area? Send an email.To see a list of upcoming trainings visit www.valorforblue.org/Home/Events.Contact Information:Deborah Meader, Policy Advisor202-305-2601E-mail: email@example.comAdvanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Trainingwww.alerrt.orgThe Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University prepares responding officers to safely and effectively handle active-shooter situations. Since 2002, with support and through a partnership with BJA, ALERRT has delivered critical active-shooter response training to nearly 40,000 law enforcement professionals throughout the nation.
ALERRT, through BJA’s VALOR initiative, continues to provide training throughout the country. To learn more about this partnership and to request ALERRT active shooter training, go to the Active Shooter Response Training page.Contact Information:Deborah Meader, Policy Advisor202-305-2601E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgNational Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Policewww.theiacp.org/PublicationsGuides/Projects/ViolenceAgainstthePolice/tabid/939/Default.aspxBJA, in partnership with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), will analyze data, forensic interviews, and post-incident investigations to address how violence against the police can be prevented through the National Center for the Prevention of Violence Against the Police. The National Center will develop and disseminate guidance protocols and strategies for the criminal justice center that will assist in preventing violence against law enforcement. The knowledge garnered through the National Center will also integrate information into BJA's other officer safety projects - reducing officer injuries, disabilities, and death; and survival and assault prevention tactics. The National Center will provide resources such as training, sample policies, guidebooks, and reports to law enforcement.Contact Information:Deborah Meader, Policy Advisor202-305-2601E-mail: email@example.comReducing Officer Injuries: Developing Policy Responseswww.iacp.org/ReducingOfficerInjuryProjectFunded by BJA, the Reducing Officer Injuries: Developing Policy Responses study was produced by the SafeShield Program, Division of State Associations of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police. The first of its kind, this study reviews all officer injuries occurring within 18 participating agencies over a 1-year period and makes policy and training recommendations based on the findings.Contact Information:Deborah Meader, Policy Advisor202-305-2601E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgCenter for Task Force Leadership and Integritywww.ctfli.orgThe Center for Task Force Leadership and Integrity is an online training and resource center with a restricted access web site that addresses the varying needs of law enforcement officers, commanders, and executive leadership involved in the administration and operation of task forces, which includes officer safety, operations planning, and risk management. Since this program was launched in August 2009, more than 2,700 vetted law enforcement officers have completed the training.Contact Information:Steven Edwards, Senior Policy Advisor202-307-0500E-mail: email@example.comRISSafewww.riss.net/Resources/RISSafeRISSafe is a national event deconfliction system that helps agencies forestall "blue-on-blue" encounters and prevents officers from duplicating or disrupting another organization's investigation. The RISSafe Officer Safety web site allows officers to access nearly 2,000 officer safety-related documents, videos, and news links, among other resources. Since RISSafe's inception in 2008, more than 389,000 operations have been entered into the system. In 2011 alone, 100,458 operations went into the system, resulting in the identification of 32,296 conflicting operations. Of these, approximately one- third resulted in a conflict being prevented.4Contact Information:David Lewis, Senior Policy Advisor202-616-7829E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Officer Safety Resources for Law Enforcement LeadersBJA has coordinated with the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the U.S. Marshals Service, and other federal agencies to develop a comprehensive officer safety portfolio that will provide quality training, technical assistance, and resources to state, local, and tribal governments.These efforts will assist law enforcement leaders in:
Shielding Officers from InjuryBulletproof Vest Partnershipwww.ojp.gov/bvpbasiThe Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program assists law enforcement agencies in acquiring soft body armor for their personnel. Since 1999, more than 13,000 jurisdictions have participated, with $277 million in federal funds committed for the purchase of over 1 million vests (1,084,081 as of October 17, 2012).5 Bullet- and stab-resistant vests are instrumental to officer survival. Based on data collected and recorded by BJA staff, in FY 2012, protective vests were directly attributable to saving the lives of at least 33 law enforcement and corrections officers, in 20 different states, an increase 13.7 percent over FY 2011. At least 13 of those life-saving vests had been purchased, in part, with BVP funds. In support of the Attorney General's Officer Safety Initiative and the Mandatory Wear Policy requirement for the BVP Program, IACP, in partnership with BJA, provided its body armor model policy and issues paper to law enforcement agencies applying for FY 2011 BVP funds at no cost. IACP waived the fee associated with the model policy, and BJA managed the distribution of nearly 3,000 copies of the model policy and issues paper.Contact Information:Linda Hammond-Deckard, Policy Advisor202-514-6015E-mail: email@example.com
Southern Border Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance ProgramPhoto courtesy of the New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology.BJA, in partnership with the New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology, provides officer survival training for law enforcement agencies working along and near the southwest border of the country. Training includes felony vehicle and person stops, indicators of drug, weapon, or currency runs, and safe interdiction techniques. There are currently several modules of instruction which were developed to provide participants with knowledge of the potential threat they may face from Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) or Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations (MDTOs) during their normal duties. Since 2011, over 2,300 law enforcement professionals have gone through this training.
Contact Information:Deborah Meader, Policy Advisor202-305-2601E-mail: Deborah.Meader@usdoj.gov.
Smart Policing: Effective Gun Violence Reduction Strategieswww.smartpolicinginitiative.com In partnership with the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), BJA is assisting police agencies in Camden, NJ; Prince George’s County, MD; and Sacramento, CA in the development of evidence-based, data-driven programs to address serious gun crime problems in their respective communities.
In Camden, the focus is on “high-value targets” and high-risk repeat domestic violence offenders. A protocol for officers to screen domestic violence calls, obtain search warrants and effectively remove guns and ammunition from domiciles in which a domestic incident has occurred is being finalized for use in the field.
The “Where did the gun come from?” project in Prince George’s County is predicated on the efforts of a newly reorganized police division through which guns will be traced more effectively. Tracing efforts include forensic testing, use of eTrace and NIBIN, and debriefing arrested individuals, among other intelligence functions.
The strategy in Sacramento was centered on an ammunition ordinance that the city passed. The ordinance requires mandatory maintenance of an ammunition sales log by firearms dealers. Previously, there had been no mechanisms in place to track ammunition sales, ensure that only persons of legal age purchased ammunition, or detect purchases by persons legally prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition. The primary objectives of the ordinance are to prevent illegal ammunition purchases within Sacramento and allow for the increased detection and apprehension of those persons committing firearms-related crime. PERF currently is analyzing the impact of the ordinance’s passing.
BJA’s Smart Policing Initiative is working to build evidence-based, data-driven law enforcement tactics and strategies that are effective, efficient, and economical.
Contact Information:Catherine McNamee, Policy Advisor202-598-5248E-mail: Catherine.McNamee@usdoj.gov .
Supporting Officers, Their Survivors, and AgenciesThe Executive Sessions on Police Leadership for the 21st CenturyThe Executive Sessions on Police Leadership for the 21st Century is a series of meetings hosted in partnership by BJA, PERF, and St. Petersburg College (Florida) that discuss the cultural changes happening in the law enforcement profession. Through these sessions, law enforcement leaders discuss how to create a culture of safety within their organizations that encompasses tactical fitness as well as individual fitness and wellness.Contact Information:Steven Edwards, Senior Policy Advisor202-307-0500E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgNational Project on Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention Training and Supporthttp://policesuicide.spcollege.eduThe National Project on Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention Training and Support works to decrease the rate of suicide among law enforcement officers by increasing the probability that officers contemplating suicide will seek help from mental health professionals. In the first 6 months of 2011, approximately 1,000 people were trained on law enforcement suicide prevention through the In Harm's Way: Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention program.Contact Information:Steven Edwards, Senior Policy Advisor202-307-0500E-mail: email@example.comPreventing Law Enforcement Officer Suicidencjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=246399Preventing Law Enforcement Officer Suicide is a CD developed by IACP, with support from BJA, that provides important information regarding suicide prevention. Contact Information:Steven Edwards, Senior Policy Advisor202-307-0500E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgA Guide to Occupational Health and Safety for Law Enforcement Executiveswww.bja.gov/publications/PERF_LE_OccHealt h.pdfA Guide to Occupational Health and Safety for Law Enforcement Executives is a reference document that stresses the importance of providing occupational health and safety programs for law enforcement agencies. The result of a collaboration between BJA and PERF, this document suggests a three-step approach for police executives to use when establishing health and wellness programs in their departments.Contact Information:Steven Edwards, Senior Policy Advisor202-307-0500E-mail: email@example.comPublic Safety Officers' Benefitswww.psob.govA unique partnership effort of the U.S. Department of Justice; local, state, tribal, and federal public safety agencies; and national organizations, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Programs provide death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.??The BJA PSOB Office is honored to review the nearly 700 claims submitted each year on behalf of America's fallen and catastrophically disabled public safety heroes and their loved ones. Contact Information:PSOB Office1-888-744-6513E-mail: AskPSOB@usdoj.gov
1 Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2010, "Officers Feloniously Killed," Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2010, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ leoka/leoka-2010.2 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Causes of Law Enforcement Deaths, April 2012, obtained July 17, 2012 from www.nleomf.org/facts/officer-fatalities-data/causes.html.3 National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, “Law Enforcement Facts,” obtained July 17, 2012, from www.nleomf.org/facts/enforcement.4 Department of Justice, 2012, Officer Safety Toolkit, updated June 2012, available at www.valorforblue.org/Home/ Officer_Safety_Toolkit/. 5 U.S. Department of Justice, www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bvpbasi.
View OJP's Police Suicide Prevention Webcast
On October 10, OJP and the COPS Office teamed up with the International Association of Chiefs of Police on an Officer Safety and Wellness Police Suicide Webcast as part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of law enforcement officers. The purpose of the webcast is to raise awareness among law enforcement about the issue of police suicide and to provide practical information and resources on prevention.
Training Law Enforcement to Respond to Active Shooters
BJA and the FBI have partnered with Texas State University to expedite and increase the delivery of active shooter training to state and local law enforcement throughout our country. At the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University, officers receive critical active shooter response training to effectively and safely respond to an active shooter event. The ALERRT curriculum is dynamic force-on-force, scenario-based training. It has been adopted by the FBI as the national training standard for active shooter response, and has been provided to more than 40,000 police officers nationwide. Read more and watch a video about ALERRT.
Read the Officer Safety Initiatives Fact Sheet.
See More Funding
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS)
Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center
More BJA Publications
See More FAQs
LE Officer Safety Awareness Message
BJA, through the VALOR Program, is working to improve immediate and long-term health, wellness, and safety of law enforcement professionals throughout our nation. Unfortunately, the number of law enforcement officer deaths is on the rise for 2014. Please partner with us in sharing this officer safety awareness message. Let’s continue to bring safety awareness to the forefront of all law enforcement agencies across the United States by spreading this message far and wide!
Attorney General Honors Fallen Officers
"Our nation can never repay the debts we owe to our fallen officers and their families," said Attorney General Holder during his remarks at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund's 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2014.
VALOR Webinar Available
BJA’s VALOR webinar, “Street Survival: Casualty Care,” is now online on the secure side of the VALOR web portal (www.valorforblue.org) under the Trainings tab (Online Training). Sign in (or register for an account) for access to this important officer safety webinar. Learn why self-aid/buddy-aid is important!
Matrix Demonstration Project Offers Two New Modules on Crime Analysis
George Mason University's Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy's Matrix Demonstration Project, which is funded by BJA, recently released two new online training modules: "Crime Analysis for Commanders" and "Crime Analysis for Operations." These FREE BJA-funded trainings are an excellent resource for those interested in crime analysis and how it can benefit law enforcement operations.
Police Magazine Features VALOR
In the May 2013 edition of Police Magazine, read the feature article "The DOJ's VALOR Training Initiative: The Justice Department's VALOR Initiative offers free officer safety training." Visit BJA's Officer Safety Initiatives page to learn more about VALOR, ALERRT, and other BJA-supported programs that help officers prevent, survive, and respond to violent encounters.
Attorney General Speaks at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Candlelight Vigil
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the 25th Annual National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2013. The vigil, sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, is one of the many events honoring our fallen law enforcement officers during National Police Week, which is May 12-18.
“Local authorities look to learn lessons from LAX shooting”
From myFOXAustin (Texas), November 1, 2013: “Active shooter situations, like the one Friday at the Los Angeles airport, are being analyzed locally to better prepare law enforcement across the country. Officers at Texas State's ALERRT program focus on taking down active shooters. What happened today will one day become a lesson plan. ‘That's what they do. They run to the sounds of gunfire...while everybody else is running away,’ Terry Nichols of Texas State's ALERRT Program said.” Read the full story and watch the news video or learn more about BJA’s Active Shooter Response Training.
Officer Safety Solicitation Released
BJA has released the FY 2013 National Initiatives: Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative—VALOR solicitation. Applications are due May 2, 2013.
National Center for Campus Public Safety FY 2013 Competitive AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 06/27/2013, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking applications for development and operation of a National Center for Campus Public Safety to support the field, foster collaboration, facilitate information sharing, and support policy development, model practices, operations, and research that will enhance the safety of the nation’s institutions of higher education. Solicitation
National Initiatives: Officer Safety and Wellness Initiative—VALOR FY 2013 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 05/02/2013, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking applications for a national officer safety and wellness training and technical assistance coordinator to continue, and enhance, the Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) program. Solicitation
FY 2012 Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program Application Deadline: 07/06/2012, 05:59 PMThe BVP Program provides funds to help jurisdictions provide bullet- and stab-resistant body armor for sworn law enforcement and corrections officers. BVP Application System BVP Application Checklist
Violent Gang and Gun Crime Reduction Program (Project Safe Neighborhoods) FY 2012 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 06/14/2012, 11:59 PMThis program provides support to state, local, and tribal efforts to reduce gun and gang-related violent crime. Solicitation
810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20531
For Government Use Only