The Advancing 21st Century Policing Community Report 2017 The Advancing 21st Century Policing Community Repo | Page 14

Advancing 21 st Century Policing: The Arlington Police Department Report to the Community PILLAR 6: OFFICER WELLNESS AND SAFETY Police officers walk into risky situations and encounter tragedy almost every day. The wellness and safety of law enforcement officers are critical to the overall success of public safety in the twenty-first century. The City of Arlington and the Arlington Police Department are committed to promoting a culture of health and wellness within the workforce and rewards employees who take proactive and preventative measures. PILLAR 6 Examples of officer wellness and safety: Wellness For Life The City of Arlington Wellness for Life program offers the tools necessary to help employees make lifestyle choices that can improve their overall health. Officers who choose to participate in this program receive a cash payout along with a reduction in healthcare costs. During the program, officers earn points by completing the annual physical exam, tracking workouts, attending employee health fairs and workshops. Additionally, all employees are provided access to City of Arlington recreational facilities at discounted rates. Introducing the modified work schedule The Arlington Police Department implemented an alternative four-day schedule for select officers and civilian staff. Working 10-hour shifts, the department has a goal to reduce absenteeism, decrease stress and improve the mental and physical health of officers. Research findings from a Police Foundation Shift-Length Experiment revealed that officers working an alternative work schedule enjoyed a significantly higher quality of life. They also gained more hours of rest and the number of overtime hours was significantly lowered. APD allows officers to bid for shifts each year based on seniority, which enables everyone to plan vacations and training around their regular days off. The modified work schedule is another example of the value that APD places on overall safety and wellness. Every law enforcement officer is provided with a tactical first aid kit and anti-ballistic vest Officers are provided training on the importance of the tactical first aid kit. Trauma packs are also issued. Higher level ballistic vests and helmets have been distributed to all front-line officers. The department is currently in the process of issuing ballistic shields. 14 Officers lead active, healthy lifestyles. Weight room facilities like this one at the Ott Cribbs Public Safety Building allows officers to maintain fitness goals.