Positive Psychology is the science of promoting well-being and optimized lives. It is a new branch of psychology that uses scientific understanding and interventions to aid in the achievement of a flourishing life. As such it provides an additional piece to psychology by focusing not on the treatment of dysfunction, but rather on the enhancement and strengthening of human functioning. IPRU work in this area focuses on training of critical skills that allow first responders to become resilient practitioners. Professionals within the caring professions, particularly in the sub-field of Forensic Psychology often work with challenging and high risk populations and in situations such as mental health and crime, and are often entering first responder jobs that require long or shift hours in high risk and high stress situations such as prisons, hospitals, law enforcement and the courts, and working with clients facing emotional, psychological and legal challenges. It is well documented that professionals within these fields often suffer high levels of stress, exhaustion and burnout due to the emotional nature of their jobs. Practitioners in these fields therefore need high levels of resilience skills and resources in order to withstand the demands of these types of careers, protect their own well-being. Healthy and flourishing people lead to professionals who lead with a disposition and energy that has a positive impact on their clients and organizations, and as such function at a higher level of effectiveness as professionals, and in addition possess the toolkits to advise their clients and organizations to flourish.
The Law Enforcement RESilience (RES) Project aims to build an evidence base to support practice-informed and evidence-based resilience training for law enforcement and other first responders. The project includes a comprehensive systematic review on the various mental health issues present in law enforcement and other first responder occupations, the stressors associated with such occupations, especially Burnout, and how resilience training can help officers recover more quickly from adversity and with less negative impact, all of which is currently being used to further support a practice-informed and evidence-based Law Enforcement RESilience Training Program.
- Information on current trainings for Law Enforcement and First Repsonders: Law Enforcement RESilience Training
- Dec 6th 2022 Burnout and the Law Enforcement Exodus Crisis: Causes, Symptoms and Solutions
- Sept 2nd 2021 Burnout in Law Enforcement & First Responders
- Nov 18th 2020 Resilience Training for Law Enforcement
- May 11th 2020 Resilience Defined
First Responder Wellness: A Systematic Review
A systematic review providing an overview of what different groups of first responders (police, corrections, fire, etc) meet in terms of adversity on the job, and the reported types and prevalence levels of psychological impact (eg PTSD, Compasion Fatigue, Burnout) .
- Salfati, C. G. (2020, November) Resilience Training for Law Enforcement. The Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies.
Law Enforcement Burnout: A Systematic Review
A systematic review of the scientific literature on Burnout in law enforcement. Review includes 143 articles published between 1983-2021 across 32 countries, including a total of 143,548 officers.
- Salfati, C. G. & Niremberg, K. (2022, September) Burnout in Law Enforcement: A Systematic Review of the Problem. Presentation at the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology, Quebec City. Canada.
- Salfati, C. G. & Korzun, E. A. (2022, March) Burnout in Law Enforcement: A Critical, but Missing Element of Resilience Training Programs. International Associations of Chiefs of Police Officer Wellness & Safety Annual Conference. Atlanta, Georgia.
- Salfati, C. G. (2022, February) Invited Plenary: Burnout in Times of COVID. Fraternal Order of Police, Officer Wellness Summit. Nashville, TN.
- Salfati, C. G. (2021, November) Burnout in Law Enforcement. P.36-38. Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Journal. PDF
- Salfati, C. G. (2019, September) Resilience Training for Recovery and Prevention of Burnout. Annual Meeting of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology. Scottsdale, Arizona.
Law Enforcement Resilience: A Systematic Review
A systematic review of the scientific literature on Resilience in law enforcement. Review includes 72 articles published between 2006-2021 across 19 countries, including a total of 31,396 officers.
- Salfati, C. G. & Korzun, E. A. (2022, September) Resilience Training in Law Enforcement: A Systematic Review of What Works. Presentation at the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology, Quebec City. Canada.
Chicago Police: Mental & Emotional Resilience Training, an Evaluation of Officer Integration of Training into Practice, and the Impact on Resilience & Wellbeing
2021 11,500 officers trained
2023 10,500 officers trained
Results used to
# Identify most at-risk groups
# Obtain feedback on when and how officers implement training
# Evaluate training impact on officer resilience & wellness
# Inform building of evidence-based training
- Salfati, C. G. & Schultz, E. (2023, January) Invited Talk: Identifying The Relationship Between Officer Demographics And Reported Types And Levels Of Stressors, Wellness And Resilience To More Systematically Structure A Comprehensive Law Enforcement Resilience & Wellness Program. Fraternal Order of Police, Professionals Forum, Officer Wellness Summit. Nashville, TN
New Jersey Police: An Evaluation of the Impact of the NJ Resiliency Training Program
The New Jersey RESilience project is a collaboration between Dr. Salfati and Dr. Wiltsey at New Jersey City University. The project is based on The New Jersey Resiliency Training Program, delivered out of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice in the Office of the Attorney General. The program is being delivered to 35,000 New Jersey police officers and aims to provide a healthier environment within the organization, promote better relations with officers in the community, and quell the current epidemic of law enforcement suicides, and aims to change not only the impact on individual officers, but also aims to change organizational culture to support increased officer wellness. The research connected with the program is surveying officers using a number of key measures prior to the resilience training, and 6 months post training to measure the overall impact of the training on officer wellness.
- Wiltsey, M. T., Salfati, C. G., & Korzun, E. A. (2022, September) Building Evidence-Based Wellness Programs by Contextualizing Training in Officer Illness & Wellness. Presentation at the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology, Quebec City. Canada.
- Salfati, C. G,, Wiltsey, M. T., and Korzun, E. (2020, November) Law Enforcement Resilience Training Impacts. Annual Meeting of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology. Online.
- For all publications from the IPRU go to our publications page: Publications