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Ben CarletonBrittany Cunningham
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CNA’s Center for Justice Research and Innovation, through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA’s) VALOR Initiative, is working with 11 law enforcement agencies across the US to understand current efforts to promote law enforcement personnel wellness, explore critical gaps in evidence-based research, and provide targeted national resources and tools to support wellness behaviors among sworn and non-sworn agency members. As part of this effort, CNA hosted a virtual Wellness Peer Listening Session with several of the participating project agencies on April 27, 2023. The purpose of the listening session was to allow attendees the opportunity to discuss their experiences with employee wellness and provide their thoughts on where the field should focus its efforts in the future.

The listening session was facilitated by CNA Senior Advisor and retired Public Safety Director Geoffrey Smith. Director (ret.) Smith asked participants questions about (1) the desired outcomes of their agencies’ wellness initiatives, (2) the aspects of the wellness initiatives that are and are not working well, (3) how agencies garner officer support for their wellness initiatives, (4) how agencies are working to reduce the stigma around seeking wellness services, (5) how the agencies’ wellness initiatives have evolved over the last five years, (6) the kinds of additional support that the agencies would benefit from to improve wellness efforts, and (7) what the agencies foresee as wellness challenges for their employees in the coming years. 

Nearly 20 participants representing 8 project agencies attended the listening session. These participants’ official roles varied, ranging from sworn executive command staff to civilian wellness coordinators. Staff from the CNA project team and BJA policy advisors also attended the listening session.

In this resource, we highlight the key takeaways from the listening session. Each takeaway includes supporting context or examples provided by participants.

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This work was performed under BJA-2018-DP-BX-K015. This project was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number BJA 2018 DP BX-K015 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.


  • Pages: 4
  • Document Number: IPD-2023-U-035944
  • Publication Date: 7/17/2023
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