GLYNCO, GA – Last month, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) presented “Officer Resilience: The Ability to Prepare and Recover from Stress and Adversity” as part of its quarterly Psychologically Speaking Broadcast. FLETC Instructor Dr. Karen Ardoin hosted the broadcast, which was attended by more than 200 law enforcement representatives from local, state, tribal, and federal agencies, as well as mental health and academic professionals from across the country.
Guest speakers included two academics from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida - Dr. Randy Nelson, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, and Dr. Daniel Hollar, Assistant Dean for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Assistant Professor of Psychology, and Psychology Department Chair.
During the program, Dr. Hollar shared academic research and information on the factors and techniques associated with officer resilience. Dr. Nelson discussed the officer safety and wellness research recommendations included in the 21st Century Policing Task Force Report. Panelists shared their stories and journeys to resilience.
FLETC Senior Instructor Robert Quirk, who retired as a Dallas Police Investigator and whose cases have been featured on “The First 48” television program, discussed his involvement in two shootings while working with the Dallas Police Department, and shared the actual radio transmission when he was shot in the line of duty.
FLETC Instructor John H. Williams, who retired as Chief of the ATF National Training Center, shared his experiences working as part of the law enforcement operation at the Branch Davidian Compound near Waco, Texas, in 1993.
FLETC Instructor Tannis McLaughlin, detailed from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, discussed her experiences supporting the Global War on Terrorism in the Middle East region, where she conducted criminal and counterintelligence operations. Instructor McLaughlin specifically spoke about her response to an airplane crash and her method of resiliency to overcome this experience.
FLETC has partnered with Bethune-Cookman University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), to help remain on the cutting edge of law enforcement-related academic research. Dr. Hollar has shared with FLETC evidence from his research on officer resilience, coping and job performance, and issues described in his book, Suicide and Eating Disordered Behavior Among Individuals of African Descent: Acculturation and Psychopathology. Dr. Nelson has shared research with FLETC regarding wellness strategies in support of officer physical, social, and mental health. Through its partnership with Bethune-Cookman University and other HBCUs going forward, FLETC aims to leverage inclusive research that promotes diverse perspectives.
About the Psychologically Speaking Broadcast
FLETC’s Psychologically Speaking Broadcast is an extension of the Mental Health Crisis Instructor Training Program The broadcast is offered on the first Thursday of each quarter as a continuous learning opportunity for first responders, dispatchers, and co-responders. It highlights academic research, law enforcement data, and current practices as identified by law enforcement personnel, clinicians, and academia. FLETC introduces mental illness-related topics that can aid law enforcement personnel and co-responders who may interact with an individual experiencing a mental crisis or suffering from mental illness.
For more information on the Psychologically Speaking Broadcast, its previous recordings or to receive information on the upcoming quarterly broadcast, please monitor FLETC’s social media and/or email FLETC-PsychologicallySpeaking@fletc.dhs.gov.
Psychologically Speaking Broadcast panelists and speaker seated from left to right: John Williams, Robert Quirk, Tannis McLaughlin, Dr. Randy Nelson, and host Dr. Karen Ardoin (Dr. Daniel Hollar, not pictured, participated virtually) in Glynco, GA, May 4, 2023. (FLETC Courtesy Photo)
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