Recovery & Resiliency

Targeted Violence/Active Threat

Recovery & Resiliency

In the wake of a targeted violence incident, law enforcement officers and civilians alike are left to process the events that unfolded. While law enforcement officers are among the most visible emblems of security, safety, and authority at a time when community members are frightened, confused, shocked, angry, and grieving, it is important to remember that they too are coping. The community as a whole must come together to heal, leaning on each other for support and requesting help when needed.

Police departments should be proactive in instituting officer safety and wellness programs. It is only by taking care of our officers that they are able to better protect their communities when active threat situations emerge. Similarly, law enforcement must be well-versed in caring for victims of traumatic events, understanding the implications of distress and shock. Law enforcement should partner with the community to ensure availability of resources aimed at helping victims cope in the aftermath of an incident.




IACP Considerations Document and Concepts and Issues Paper – Employee Mental Health and Wellness


Personnel are the most valuable assets in a law enforcement agency. The documents provided are intended to assist agency personnel in developing policies, procedures, and guidelines to assist law enforcement employees in navigating potential mental health and wellness challenges.

IACP Model Policy and Concepts and Issues Paper – Post-Shooting Personnel Support


These documents provide guidelines that should be uniformly applied following any officer-involved shooting incident, in order to minimize the chance that officers will suffer from the negative emotional and psychological reactions that can occur after the use of deadly force in an on- or off-duty confrontation. They are designed to address the needs of the officer who discharged his or her firearm.

Psychological Fitness-for-Duty Evaluation Guidelines


The IACP Police Psychological Services Section developed these guidelines to educate and inform the public safety agencies that request fitness-for-duty evaluations and the practice of examiners who perform them.

Peer Support Guidelines


These guidelines are intended to provide information and recommendations on forming and maintaining a peer support structure for sworn and civilian personnel in law enforcement agencies.

Officer-Involved Shootings Guidelines


These guidelines provide recommendations to public safety agencies, and the mental health providers who provide the service, to prepare and respond to the health and well-being of law enforcement personnel following an officer-involved shooting.

The Signs Within: Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness


This report provides suicide prevention education and awareness materials, including recommendations for command staff, common factors associated with suicide, and national and local resources.

Mental Wellness, Resiliency, and Suicide Prevention: Information for Family and Friends of Law Enforcement


This brochure discusses how family and friends of law enforcement can help prevent officer suicide. It also provides a list of possible warning signs, includes information on the importance of mental wellness and responses to trauma, and lists national and local resources. 

Mass Violence and Behavioral Health


This issue of the Supplemental Research Bulletin focuses on how mass violence affects the behavioral health of adult and young (child and adolescent) survivors or witnesses of a mass violence incident.

OVC Handbook for Coping After Terrorism


The information in this handbook is intended to help readers understand their reactions to an act of terrorism or mass violence.

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit


This blueprint, informed by research and lessons learned from the field, was created as a step-by-step guide to assist organizations in becoming more informed on vicarious trauma.

Preparing for the Unimaginable: How Chiefs Can Safeguard Officer Mental Health before and after Mass Casualty Events


This guide provides chiefs and sheriffs with awareness and guidance on best practices for safeguarding the mental health and wellness of first responders in the early moments of critical events and during the long aftermath. 

A Peer-Based Assistance Program for Officers with the New York City Policy Department: Report of the Effects of Sept. 11, 2001

American Journal of Psychiatry, Frank G. Dowling, Gene Moynihan, Bill Genet, and Jonathan Lewis

This article describes the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance program’s outreach, support work, and screening for stress symptoms related to the disaster in the NYPD from December 2002 until December 2003.

A Guide to Managing Stress in Crisis Response Professions


This easy-to-use pocket guide focuses on general principles of stress management and offers simple, practical strategies that can be incorporated into the daily routine of managers and workers. It also provides a concise orientation to the signs and symptoms of stress.

Scroll to preview content. Please sign in to read and get access to more member only content.

IACP - Loader Animation IACP - Loader Animation IACP - Loader Animation