The Chief Constable of Lancashire outlined his vision for a workforce healthy in body and mind at a talk at Liverpool John Moores University.
Chris Rowley, who heads the 6,000-strong force, said the Police needed to be just as concerned, if not more so, than most organisations about the health and wellbeing of its people.
“Police officers find themselves in crisis situations all the time. It is a stressful job. Policing is not as seen on TV.
“The job is associated with physical strength but officers also need mental strength and to be mentally well-prepared for whatever it is they may encounter.
“We want our people to think that speaking up if they are struggling or have issues is not a weakness but a strength.”
Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies
Mr Rowley addressed staff, students and guests in this the latest lecture by a Chief Constable, hosted by the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.
The first lecture was delivered in 2016 by Sir John Murphy – now a member of the LCAPS team – and LJMU has hosted annual lectures ever since, including recent talks by Merseyside Chief Constables Andy Cooke and incumbent Serena Kennedy.
LJMU helped pioneer policing education and currently has around 1,000 students on policing programmes, working closely with the College of Policing and other bodies to professionalise careers in the police force.
Embed resilience in training
And Chris Rowley said the message to new recruits was increasingly around being as prepared as possible as professionals: “If you are to serve the public and deal with their crises, you need to be in the best possible place, physically and mentally.
“It is our job as a force to ensure that is so and thus offer the public the best possible service we can.”
The Chief Constable was received by Professor Ian Finnigan, Programme Lead (LCAPS) and Professor Keith George, LJMU’s Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange.
IMAGE: Dr Heather Panter, Senior Lecturer; Ian Pilling – Senior lecturer; Peter Williams – Senior lecturer, Professor Steve Finnigan – Programme Lead (all LCAPS); Chris Rowley; Keith George; Chris Armitt – Deputy Chief Constable Cheshire Constabulary; Ian Critchley - Deputy Chief Constable Merseyside Police.