Recently, I discovered that one of my past co-workers (new retiree), has taken up yoga. When I jokingly questioned her about her newfound practice, she said that she practices almost every day and the experience has been life changing. I commented that it a shame that active duty police officers could not have the same life changing experience (sense of peace). She replied with “they don’t have time amidst the chaos.” My immediate thought was “what better time to practice yoga and/or other mindfulness activities, than amidst the chaos?” Yoga was designed to create a genuine sense of peace amongst the chaos!
I wrote an earlier blog on “suffering.” Specifically, when will we, as a profession, suffer enough to realize that WE need to incorporate mindfulness activities in our daily lives or we will continue to have high rates of suicide, burnout, and substance abuse. As a recently retired Assistant Police Chief, I understand that young officers may not see the importance of “self-care” in the early stages of their career. However, Police Chiefs should know and understand how important it is to provide “wellness training.” I believe that Police Chiefs have a moral obligation to take care of their officers (mentally, physical, and spiritually). If they don’t, who will?