Los Angeles Police Protective League, LAPD, American eHealth Collaborative | Health & Wellness Program
Los Angeles Police Protective League, LAPD, American eHealth Collaborative
Beginning in 2016, the Los Angeles Protective League (LAPPL) in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), has worked with the American eHealth Collaborative to improve the physical and mental health of the over 10,000 LAPD officers. An initial 250 officers volunteered to be a part of a two-year personal fitness and wellness monitoring program designed to help officers improve and maintain their health.
These officers were allowed on-duty time to engage in consultations with physicians and training on how to use devices that will monitor their blood pressure, pulse, oxygen, a weight, and a sleep monitor. This health data is then collected and analyzed to see where officers need improvement but also gives an overall evaluation of where the Department is as a whole in terms of certain physical markers.
Since 2016, this program has grown and thousands of the blood pressure cuffs, pulse oximeters and sleep meters have been distributed, adding to more data, and resulting in healthier officers. This program involves the officers’ families as well, as they participate in monthly Telemedicine sessions. The program is in its fifth full year and has been fully endorsed by the LAPD and backed by the LAPPL. The program has nearly a 100% participation rate, meaning those who agreed to do it have stayed with the program and 83% of those participants' family members have joined in as well.
The data that this monitoring and consultation program has produced provides one of the best sources of health information for a large police agency ever seen. The program has assisted officers in losing weight, controlling hypertension, getting off cholesterol medication and began identifying other unique areas of health concerns that are specific to certain law enforcement jobs.
The program has prevented 18 likely deaths due to acute health conditions that were going unchecked until the officers entered the program and made the necessary changes. This program also focuses on creating a “Stigma Free” environment, where the notoriously cynical officers feel safe and comfortable in participating and not worrying about where their personal data is going and who is looking at it. In other words, the LAPD cannot look at each officer’s data and make judgements or use it against them.
The program has now moved on to identify and address work-related issues for officers that are impacting their long term and immediate health. With all the internal data collected and the strong participation in the program the LAPD has a clear look at the health problems facing their officers. The program has identified that alcohol use is a problem, as is sleep deprivation, hypertension, and even dehydration.
The program, through its data collection and regular consultations has discovered that female officers are routinely dehydrated. They do not drink water because relieving themselves on-duty requires them to remove their entire duty belt. It has also identified mental health issues such as relationships and how officers interact socially and runs an anti-suicide program. This program, in conjunction with the LAPD and the LAPPL virtually eliminated worker’s compensation lawsuits, by working with an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and getting officers with injuries faster diagnoses and care, greatly reducing complaints and lawsuits. This as well as the overall savings in terms of reducing medical costs and lost time and extended sick leave, can yield an estimated savings of $50,000,000 a year for the City with a full adoption of this program. The LAPPL has a regular newsletter that updates members on the progress of this program and participants can log into a secure database to see their results and health improvement strategies.
The program developer and administrator, Mr. Jimmy Baldea also participated in the initial program and lost 100 pounds and significantly reduced his risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other risks. In a response to some clarification, the LAPPL and LAPD provided additional information on the continuing data gathering and successful health improvements that this wellness program has initiated. Finally, they also included data and information on their “Caffeine Challenge.” This program raises awareness of the dangers of consuming large amounts or caffeine or energy drinks and explores the negative health repercussions of caffeine, stress and adrenaline.