This has been especially evident in the
last few years as large groups of people have turned their anger,
fear and grief on law enforcement in response to police
That includes specialized training in
collaboration with private organizations.
HeartMath's efforts have been aimed at
reducing stress and improving personal and professional resilience
and performance through resilience, coherence and self-regulation
Coherence and resilience training studies
Among recent studies to determine the effectiveness of coherence, resilience and emotion self-regulation training for police officers is one conducted by HMI that took place over 16 weeks.
The study (Resilience Training Program Reduces Physiological and Psychological Stress in Police Officers), published in a 2012 issue of the Global Advances in Health and Medicine journal, started out with 64 sworn police officers at seven Santa Clara County, California police agencies.
(Eventually, 59 of the original participants, who included one non-police municipal official, had remained through the end of the study.)
The police officers in this study went through HeartMath's Coherence Advantage (now called The Resilience Advantage®) stress-resilience and performance-enhancement training.
The coherence training, also referred to as cardiac coherence training, entailed learning and practicing energy self-regulation techniques aimed at helping officers take charge of the mental, emotional and physical systems, thereby building their resilience capacity, which improves job performance and effectiveness.
Participants were tasked with practicing these techniques to show they could utilize and recoup their energy more intelligently and effectively shift into physiological coherence. This is an optimal state in which the body's mental, emotional and physical systems function harmoniously.
The police officers used HeartMath's emWave technology to enhance and monitor their coherence practices.
Twelve of the officers participated in the "scenarios" portion of the study. These were simulations that included responding to a domestic violence call, going on a high-speed chase and conducting a building search.
The officers first would go through a portion of their training, and then participate in a scenario.
Physiological and psychological measurements taken before their training were compared with measurements taken after they participated in the scenarios.
What the researchers found was:
A recent independent study at Police University College of Finland, examined the potential benefits of providing resilience training to SWAT team personnel.
Key training methods in the study, Applying Resilience Promotion Training Among Special Forces Police Officers, included HeartMath coherence-building techniques, notably the Heart-Focused Breathing Technique combined with focusing on positive emotions.
(It is noteworthy that the interventions used with the SWAT personnel, including HeartMath's, were developed for regular police officers because none had been developed specifically for SWAT teams.)
The SWAT personnel would go through a 60-minute resilience training session and then imagine themselves engaged in a specific highly stressful incident. One of these was a hostage situation.
They had to decide what actions they would take in the incident.
Key benefits of Resilience Advantage training
HeartMath partners with police in Netherlands
Since 2012, 300 to 400 police officers per week in the Netherlands have received cardiac coherence training through the HeartMath Benelux program. It has been estimated that by sometime in 2016, 30,000 of the Netherlands's police officers will have received this training through HeartMath.
HeartMath Benelux is an official partner of the Dutch Police Academy.