Finalist | Comprehensive Wellness
Fairfax County (VA) Police Department
2023 Finalist Comprehensive Wellness
The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) has been serving the community for 80 years. It has approximately 1,341 sworn officers and 344 professional staff members who cover approximately 407 square miles with a population of 1.2 million residents.
One crucial component of the FCPD is the Incident Support Services (ISS) division, which offers various support services. These services include the Peer Support Team, a peer support canine named Lennie, contracted psychologists/licensed clinicians, a psychiatrist, police chaplains, and access to the County’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
The Peer Support Team, which originated in the early 80s, has grown to include over 40 members available 24/7. They provide confidential support to officers and professional staff and are accredited through the Virginia Department of Health. In 2022, they registered 324 responses for contact with 412 police employees.
The FCPD also employs psychologists/licensed clinicians who offer a wide range of mental health services. Officers can access a list of these professionals on the department’s intranet, called BlueNet, without needing coordination through the Peer Support Team or their supervisors.
To ensure privacy and confidentiality for mental health services, the FCPD shares the Fairfax County Public Safety Behavioral Health Center with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
The FCPD and ISS provide mental health training at various levels, including recruits, supervisors, and command staff, to ensure that all employees can access mental health services when needed.
In addition to these services, the FCPD has a Peer Support Team Canine, Lennie, who assists with emotional support during critical events and improves the workplace environment. Lennie was deployed 255 times in 2022, including responding to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The department also has 11 chaplains who provide spiritual support and respond to critical incidents, both within the department and in the community.
The FCPD’s Wellness Program focuses on maintaining and improving the health and fitness of its personnel. This includes one-on-one consultations with certified strength and conditioning coaches, access to high-quality gyms at major facilities, and the WellFit Performance Center, which offers physical fitness coaching, recovery services, and more. Yoga programs are also available to promote physical and mental well-being.
From January to February 2023, 91 different officers used the WellFit Performance Center, with 57% participating in group fitness classes, 41% doing self-guided workouts, and 2% attending individual consultations and information sessions.
The registered dietitian at WellFit uses artificial intelligence to assist with on-demand meal planning for tactical athletes across the police and fire departments.
Officers on temporary medical restricted duty are required to work with WellFit staff to aid in their recovery, including physical therapists, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and dietitians.
The FCPD collaborates with Optima Financial to offer retirement planning classes and consultations at the Academy.
Lastly, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all county employees and their families, offering confidential services, including counseling and support, for various issues. Sworn employees can receive up to twelve free counseling sessions through EAP, while non-sworn personnel are offered eight free sessions. The program also provides referrals for child and elderly care, financial and legal assistance, and job and career support. Employees can self-refer or voluntarily participate.
FCPD officers receive annual physicals, with the frequency varying by age group, ensuring their health is monitored and maintained.
This summary is only a brief overview of many of the agency’s programs. In the actual submission you will see that the agency has other programs and incentives to benefit its members. Please review their entire submission and its associated documents to gain a complete understanding of their program.