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Why you should submit details about your agency or department’s safety or wellness program to NLEOMF’s Destination Zero Program

Submit your safety or wellness program to NLEOMF’s Destination Zero innovative program that encourages and supports peace officer wellness


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Sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund

By Victoria Mack for PoliceOne BrandFocus

The National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) is dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund is working to make policing safer by maintaining the largest, most comprehensive database of line-of-duty officer deaths, conducting research into officer fatality trends and issues, and serving as an information clearinghouse.

Submit your safety or wellness program to the NLEOMF’s innovative program that encourages and supports peace officer wellness.
Submit your safety or wellness program to the NLEOMF’s innovative program that encourages and supports peace officer wellness.

Toward that goal, the NLEOMF has developed a program called Destination Zero, an initiative devoted to ensuring that the members of law enforcement stay safe and are thriving so they can support the public.

Your law enforcement agency can—and should—be a part of the Destination Zero program.

DESTINATION ZERO PROGRAM

Destination Zero is designed to ensure that all U.S. law enforcement officers remain safe and sound both physically and mentally—whether they’re troopers, patrolmen, sheriffs, correctional officers, or any of other members of law enforcement.

The program is a partnership with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and developed through a collaboration between Craig Floyd, president of the Memorial Fund and Denise O’Donnell, and former BJA director. Critical elements of their collaboration included creating measurable goals to reduce line-of-duty injuries, make officers’ jobs safer, incentivize, provide emotional support, improve the profession and drive fatalities down to zero.

Those are great goals, but those goals reflect only part of the plan. The other, more significant, part is to enable other law enforcement agencies to take advantage of the successful health and safety programs that agencies all over the U.S. have already put into place and are part of the growing Destination Zero Program online resources.

The Destination Zero Program publicly recognizes and acknowledges agencies that have instituted successful safety and wellness programs. The idea is to share those initiatives with other agencies wishing to initiate their own programs.

During an annual awards ceremony, winners and finalists of the National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards are revealed and bestowed with trophies or plaques every year during National Police Week in Washington, DC. Each trophy and plaque is inscribed with the name of the agency and category for which the award was given.

HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR AGENCIES PROGRAM TO DESTINATION ZERO

Destination Zero is an awards program. You can find a submission form here.

To be considered for a National Officer Safety and Wellness Award, you must represent an agency that has developed a program to enhance officer wellness (physically and/or mentally) and to reduce line-of-duty injuries or deaths. Anyone can nominate an agency, whether that is a public official or private citizen who would like to recognize their local LE agency.

The judges will consider, among other things:

  • the effectiveness of the program itself
  • employee acceptance of the program
  • the program’s ability to achieve long-term sustainability

The awards fall into four categories:

  • General Officer Safety
  • Officer Traffic Safety
  • Officer Wellness
  • Comprehensive Safety

General Officer Safety

The General Officer Safety award focuses on personal protection, tactical training, and a safe working environment. These measures are meant to reduce injuries and deaths in the line of duty by providing, for example, body armor, Downed Office Kits (DOKs), or on-scene safety officers.

For example, in 2017 Suffolk County (NY) Police Department won in the General Officer Safety category for creating their own Medical Crisis Action Team (MEDCAT), which has already saved dozens of lives.

Officer Traffic Safety

The Officer Traffic Safety award is presented to an agency that has developed a program that has taken proactive measures to definitively demonstrate success in improving traffic-related safety practices. Examples include ramped-up driver training and technological alterations to the interiors of officers’ vehicles.

The 2017 award winner in this category, Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff's Office won for updating their pursuit policy to be more restrictive, creating a Driving Review Board (DRB) and enhancing patrol vehicle monitoring.

Officer Wellness

The Officer Wellness award recognizes agencies that have taken steps to improve the health of officers’ minds and bodies. Areas of focus include exercise, diet, and stress. 

The 2017 award winner, the Stockton (CA) Police Department created an effective Wellness Network to help officers manage job stress.

Comprehensive Safety

The Comprehensive Safety award acknowledges the agency with a highly-developed, overarching plan to facilitate a safety and wellness program. This award looks for employee buy-in and participation.

In 2017, this award was given to the Burlington (NC) Police Department for their comprehensive efforts toward instituting minimum staffing levels, requiring and updating vests, and issuing hard armor plate carriers, helmets, and ballistic shields.

Does your agency have an innovative safety or wellness program that encourages and supports your officers? If so, the Memorial Fund wants to hear about it. The deadline for submissions for the 2018 National Officer Safety and Wellness Awards is December 31, 2017. Submissions can be made online at www.DestinationZero.org, or can be sent to Nick Breul at nbreul@nleomf.org. For more information, email Nick or call him at 202.737.7864.

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