US police to learn compassion

More than a thousand Kentucky officers are to recieve compassion training as part of a scheme expected to be rolled out across the country

The initiative aims to reduce injuries, fatalities and stress for both officers and members of the public.

Some 1,200 officers in Louisville, Kentucky, will be trained by staff from the US-based International Center for Compassionate Organizations (ICCO) in practices such as mediation and non-violent communication.

ICCO director general Ari Cowan said: “The shift from a ‘warrior mentality’ to a compassionate, competency-driven police culture is essential for efficient, sustainable policing and effective law enforcement. It can result in improved officer efficacy, fewer incidents of enforcement morbidity and mortality, decreased stress levels and increased public support.”

If the Louisville pilot is successful, the programme will be rolled out nationally in the US from March. A UK team is developing a similar centre and is already in discussions with British businesses and law enforcement agencies about compassionbased conflict management training programmes.

Photo: Reuters/Jim Young