By: Nicole Acker
The Menlo Park Police Department
is continuing its efforts in mindfulness practice by attending Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT)
sponsored and facilitated by Stanford University and the Compassion Institute. This eight week, 16 hour course is held over eight weeks in two-hour sessions and teaches practical tools and exercises to help enhance awareness, compassion and resilience. The prerequisite for officers to attend this training is to attend the 16 hour Resilience Immersion Training (RIT)
offered by Richard Goerling of Mindful Badge
, which employees attended in either April or August of this year. Chief Jonsen attended the CCT program and believes offering this training to officers continues the education and nurturing of self-awareness to help manage emotional behavior and ultimately have powerful and positive effects on officer’s interactions with the public, their families and community as a whole.
The CCT model is designed to help participants relate more positively to others and engage more successfully with everyone they come into contact. The tools and practices participants come away with are an improved awareness, increased connection to others, increased effectiveness and influence and a decreased stress level when faced with difficult situations. Offering CCT and RIT may appear to be delicate approaches to managing stress, but they are tactics to managing stress. Police employees are encouraged to take time to focus and recognize that the jobs they do are important and that their interactions and reactions to situations are all tied to their emotional well-being. Mindfulness and building resiliency and compassion takes practice, reinforcement, which will become habit forming, and ultimately, will have positive impacts on the outcome of incidents, circumstances and public interactions.