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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The IACP Reducing Officer Injuries Final Report

The International Association of Chiefs of Police, (IACP) has released the final report of their police officer line-of-duty injuries study. Eighteen agencies from around the country contributed their data to the study. The Chaska and Duluth police departments, as well as the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol, participated in the project.

The Monetary Impact
The one year of data reported 1,295 officer injuries that resulted in 5,938 work days missed. Those days totaled $1,211,352 in lost time plus another $1,817,028 in overtime for cover assignments. If you are doing the math, that is more than $3 million dollars—and it does not include the cost of medical treatments and rehab.

The Findings
First, the report shows the value of closely tracking and investigating officer injuries. Patterns and trends were spotted as the data was analyzed. Here are a few observations:

  • Findings showed that certain groups of officers were more likely to experience injuries, including officers in the first five years on the job and officers that were overweight.
     
  • Offenders with prior contact with law enforcement caused more severe injuries to officers than those with no prior contact.
     
  • Police encounters with suspects under the influence of drugs or alcohol resulted in more severe officer injuries.
     
  • Officer training efforts in the areas of arrest procedure, tactics, and use of force resulted in fewer officer injuries.
     
  • The findings showed the hard numbers for seat belt use, squad car speed, and officer fitness programs.

Page 10 of the report begins to address the issue of training injuries. The study showed that the use of a “safety lecture” before training decreased those injuries by 41%. That finding is consistent with the experience of the LMCIT Training Safety Officer (TSO) program, which uses a “safety briefing” prior to training.

The report also validates much of the anecdotal knowledge about line-of-duty injuries and is consistent with LMCIT data. The report illustrates how thorough accident investigation and tracking can aid risk management efforts and calls for “instilling a culture of safety” across police agencies. I encourage you to read the entire study. It can be found online at:  http://www.theiacp.org/portals/0/pdfs/IACP_ROI_Final_Report.pdf

Remember:

                                            Responder Safety = Public Safety



Up next…Change, Change, Change: From Retirements to Tactics

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.



Rob

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