I'm pretty sure I learned as much or more about trauma-informed policing while presenting the class as did the police chiefs who attended.
After not presenting at all during 2020, I was excited to be invited to present a block of instruction on Trauma-Informed Leadership for Police Chiefs at the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police 2021 Winter Conference.
There were about 50 chiefs in attendance on January 14, 2021, and while we all had to deal with the COVID precautions, it was good to meet in person. Real good.
I learned a few things about myself, about the chiefs, and about being trauma informed that I think are worth sharing. First,
I was reminded that being trauma-informed is really a mindset, not really a 5- or 10- or 12-step checklist.
I've read extensively on trauma, I've listened to experienced speakers talk about being trauma informed, and I've worked at being trauma informed myself.
It would be great if there were some 12-step program you could share that would change people's perspectives, change an agency's culture, and change the world.
Unfortunately, I'm convinced more than ever that while being trauma informed is vital to sustainable change, there is no easy fix. I'm convinced that sustainable change requires a commitment which few people, in the present scheme of things, are willing to embrace. Why? Because being trauma informed is more of a mindset than a detailed map.
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