Greenfield Police Department | Vehicle Pursuits
Greenfield Police Department
The Greenfield (WI) Police Department (GPD) has 58 sworn employees who serve an area that spans 11.52 square miles.
Understanding the impact of cumulative stress on their officers and their families, each officer is given one day off duty each year to attend a private, formal, individual debriefing with a trained law enforcement psychologist. Officers are encouraged to discuss the traumas and stresses of the job and seek assistance in developing coping mechanisms. The clinician provides resources and referrals as needed. Officers are required to attend their debriefing session but are not required to participate in any way. The agency bears all costs associated with the annual individual debriefing session.
Recognizing that the profession and the demands of shift work often lead to unhealthy eating habits, the Department provides unlimited access to healthy snacks and drinks including water, juices, vitamin waters, teas, etc. completely free of charge. GPD created a system where the vending machines which have healthy snacks, such as bars, trail mix, etc., are free and unhealthy snacks, such as salty snacks, cookies, etc., require payment. Most of the cost of providing healthy snacks and drinks are borne by the Department, but they are working collaboratively with the police officers’ union; healthy snacks and drinks are partially funded by the union from unhealthy vending proceeds.
In collaboration with the health insurance provider, the Department provides physical fitness incentives for reaching certain fitness goals as well as wellness incentives for annual physicals and biometric screenings.
Because of the high percentage of injuries related to the profession, the Department enlisted the services of a workplace and non-workplace injury management “Navigator”. Traditionally, officers who are injured in the line of duty receive service at an emergency room or urgent care provider resulting in extended time off including long wait times to see specialists and receive diagnostic treatment such as MRIs. Under the injury management program, officers contact the Navigator who is usually able to secure an appointment with a specialist and obtain diagnostic imaging the same day or next-day. This “front-of-the-line” access leads to early diagnosis and intervention when necessary, which has cut lost time by up to 70 percent. Significant others and family members are given access to the program at no charge. All costs related to the injury management program are borne by the agency.
Recognizing the effect of traumatic injuries on law enforcement officers involved in deadly force encounters and vehicle crashes, the Department provided all officers with tactical tourniquets, clotting agent and occlusive dressings which are always carried. More than one-fourth of officers have been trained and certified in Tactical Emergency Casualty Care. A Pursuit Review Board was created to ensure officers were driving as safely as possible during the many pursuits conducted. Officers are coached by their peers (or supervisors) on their driving tactics.
The department purchased a drone to search for suspects and take photographs of scenes. The program was expanded, and two additional, smaller drones were purchased to search inside residences.
At the direction of the Chief all department vehicles are equipped with rifles and ceramic plate carriers to stop rifle rounds and ballistic helmets. The Department offers biannual firearms training to spouses, significant others and adult children of sworn officers at no cost. This training includes an emphasis on using the officer’s duty weapon and backup weapon in the event the officer is incapacitated during an off-duty deadly force encounter where the family member is present. Family members are trained in firearm familiarization, deadly force decision-making, self-defense and marksmanship.