What can mindfulness teach the police force?

Rachel Pugh, The Guardian: As two young constables dash into the room of silently seated police men and women, making breathless apologies, one of them asks: “Have you started yet? We’ve been out on an eviction but we didn’t want to miss the meditation.”

This is lunchtime in inner-city Salford’s fortress-style Pendleton police station, and the man with a pair of Tibetan chimes facing the group is neighbourhood police officer, PC Ewen Sim, poised to deliver a session of mindfulness.

The bearded 39-year-old is one of 13 Greater Manchester police (GMP) officers …

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Bend PD turns inward

wildmind meditation newsClaire Withycombe, The Bulletin: As Bend Police Department approaches the launch date for a new mental health crisis team, the department is also turning inward to the mental health of the officers on the force.

Combined with regular midday yoga classes, which the department started offering last year, the department wants to incorporate more training in mindfulness — an increasingly popular practice of self-awareness and stress reduction. Together with the Bend Fire Department, the agency is also seeking a behavioral health specialist to provide day-to-day mental health support.

The stresses of police work can have significant long-term effects: late-night shifts, physical demands and seeing criminal …

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Mindfulness in policing

wildmind meditation newsRebecca Woolington, OregonLive.com: Since last spring, the Hillsboro Police Department has offered mindfulness-based training to build resiliency in officers.

The three, nine-week courses have cost the city about $18,000, said Hillsboro Lt. Richard Goerling, one of the program’s creators. Each round comes with a $5,800 bill for the instructor, and some officer time is included in the overall cost.

The department has tentatively budgeted $30,000 for mindfulness training next fiscal year.

About a third of the department’s officers have participated in the Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training. The course was created by Goerling; Brant Rogers, a mindfulness instructor at Yoga Hillsboro; and Michael Christopher, a psychology professor at …

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Soothing saffron for thin blue line (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Linda Morris, Sydney Morning Herald: Offering religious guidance will be just one of the jobs of the newest chaplain in the NSW Police Force. Teaching Buddhist meditation techniques to strung-out officers and support staff will be another.

The Venerable Ban Ruo Shi, the abbott of the Hwa Tsang Monastery in Homebush, is the first Buddhist to be invested in the force.

He joins 102 part-timers, including a Muslim cleric and Jewish rabbi, as well as five full-time Christian chaplains, who provide advice and guidance to police and support staff.

The Venerable Ban Ruo, 34, was invested during a multi-faith service at police headquarters in Parramatta on May 29.

He was fitted for a police uniform this week and will wear it with a patch and insignia showing the dharma wheel as symbols of his faith.

A senior police chaplain, Alan Lowe, said the Venerable Ban Ruo could be called to attend train derailments and serious road accidents, ministering to rescue workers or families of those injured and killed. The Buddhist chaplain might also attend sieges and terrorist attacks.

“On a day-to-day basis he would be touching base with people at their place of work, mainly at police headquarters, where there are a number of Buddhists among the unsworn staff,” Mr Lowe said.

“We’ve for some time felt we could provide more services if we had a Buddhist on board and there was a number of unsworn personnel who were asking for someone who could provide pastoral support in times of crisis when things are going wrong in their lives.”

The Venerable Ban Ruo sees no conflict between his faith’s position of non-violence and ministering to front-line police.

He wants to organise meditation classes and teach relaxation skills and ways to achieve “happiness, kindness and an open mind” for whoever needs help, whatever their faith.

The Chinese-born chaplain studied Buddhism from the age of seven and graduated from Fujian Buddhist University, before moving to Australia in 1994.

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