Winner | Officer Wellness
Charlotte-Mecklenberg (NC) Police Department
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg (NC) Police Department (CMPD) has submitted their wellness program for the fourth time as they strive to make improvements and believe strongly in the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of their approach to their officers’ wellness.
As in the previous years, the CMPD continues to follow the “Whole Person” approach, meaning they address every conceivable element of wellness, with a focus on supporting emotional and financial wellbeing. The Whole Person concept includes physical health, fitness, emotional and spiritual health, financial health, personal and relationship health, connectedness, and career satisfaction.
The CMPD Wellness Division is headed by Dr. David Englert, an Operational Psychologist. He has created an effect and responsive wellness unit that now employs a fulltime exercise physiologist, embedded mental health professional who are available to assist officers at a moment’s notice. Dr. Englert and his team created the “Cognitive reframe”, called Nuisance Call Bingo, which helped his dispatcher cope with reoccurring, non-emergency calls that come into 911. This successful strategy has been shared across his region and was a focus of a Destination Zero mini presentation on reducing stress.
This past year the CMPD further integrated its chaplaincy program into its peer support unit, effectively growing the unit and providing 12 chaplains on call 24 hours a day. Apart from Nuisance call Bingo, has created “Innovative Interventions” such as gratitude exercises, and diaphragmatic breathing to help calm oneself.
Also new to the CMPD, is a new mandatory job performance ability testing. This is essentially a physical skills test, and it is being phased in help improve the fitness of the CMPD officers. The Wellness Division also offers its members dieticians, health coaches who can help members create an action plan to improve their health.
They have continued to refine their ability to address critical incidents and apart from handling Officer Involved Shootings (OIS), they have preemptively identified those officers and units that normally process the worst trauma and have focused on helping them build resiliency and deal with the negative effects of “Vicarious trauma.”
The CMPD continue to address what has been identified by their members as the top concerns. Financial concerns and internal relationships with supervisors were two of the top concerns. The CMPD has created “CMPD Hope” a financial support system for members who are in financial distress.
CMPD is one of a handful of agencies that work to transition their officers into retirement, preparing them a year in advance and providing classes and counseling, as well as, helping them to address the job market. The CMPD also keep their retirees connected through their own social network and inclusion at CMPD events.
The agency still produces monthly newsletters to its members and publishes and posts in bathrooms the “U R Ine the know” weekly health message and information.
ResourcesCharlotte-Mecklenberg (NC) P.D. | Wellness Program Resource Guide
Charlotte-Mecklenberg (NC) P.D. | Executive Summary
Charlotte-Mecklenberg (NC) P.D. | Mid-year Retirement Proposal