Tackling burnout on the front line: LAPD case study

In 2019, the non-profit organization Center for Council heard the call to bring compassion-based training into law enforcement.

As the only certified council trainer who is also a physician, I consulted with Center for Council on developing this program.

The Peace Officer Wellness, Empathy & Resilience (POWER) Training Program is an intensive and interactive six-month curriculum for police and correctional officers that utilizes mindfulness practices, compassion-based communication exercises, and training in wellness-related areas such as stress management and self-care.

POWER offers a deep exploration of the science and experience of mindfulness and compassionate communication as it relates to stress, resiliency, performance and community building.

Center for Council envisions a world in which every voice is heard, no one is invisible and all have the opportunity to connect to community.

Building resilience & compassionate communication

POWER offers a deep exploration of the science and experience of mindfulness and compassionate communication as it relates to stress, resiliency, performance and community building.

With a focus on skill-building to enhance self-awareness, attunement to others, compassion, wisdom and elite performance, participants will learn skills that can be translated to their personal and professional life.

This program offers an opportunity to enhance performance, improve situational awareness, increase physical health and cognitive performance and develop new leadership capacity, balancing operational demands with life beyond the watch.

Stress management & self-care

POWER Training teaches powerful stress management and self-care techniques, equipping officers with tools to communicate more effectively and to de-escalate conflict without resorting to excessive use of force.

The approach attempts to decrease officer-involved shootings by working with attention, self-regulation and discernment, developing a more insightful and skilful approach to implicit bias, cultural diversity and community policing.

The POWER Training program has been certified by the California Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training (C-POST) and provides professional credit to police and correctional officers throughout California. 

What officers have to say about the POWER Training Program:

  • “It built a community at work, and provided a way to relax and make better decisions.”
  • “I used to pop off so easily and now I recognize when I’m about to do that and I think about my choices.” 
  • “I’ve been around for a while and this is the best training I’ve been to, bar none. I wish I had access to this stuff earlier in my career.”
  • “I found it very useful and helpful. From the first meeting to now I have been sleeping better and being more mindful. It does help me decompress at the end of the day also.”
  • “I realize that my stress level is eating away at my relationships at work and I see that now and I know that has to change.” 
  • “I can’t tell you how many staff have asked how they can get involved with this!  This has made such a difference in my ability to relax and get sleep.”
  • “My family says I’m a different person and I’m easier to talk to. I notice that I am much more patient at home with my kids – I listen better.”

The results of the POWER program have been profound and the benefits have been felt across the LAPD. In 2021, 150 community officers will be trained in the programme to take the principles out into the community to share the benefits of the programme.

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Ann Seide MD

Ann Seide MD is an Integrative Medicine Doctor with 25 years of experience working as a hospitalist and palliative care physician. She is also a Zen Buddhist, trained Council practitioner, Navy veteran and founder of Seide Integrative Health in Thousand Oaks, California where she specializes in Integrative Oncology and Physician Health.


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