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Policing and spirituality: their impact on brain integration and consciousness

posted on 2023-07-26, 12:50 authored by Ginger Charles, Frederick Travis, Jonathan A. Smith
Operational Policing is a challenging, demanding occupation and the many toxic experiences police encounter in the course of their duty can erode their inner spirit. Most police officers, however, are extremely resilient and demonstrate high levels of self-control, compassion, professionalism and love for the work they do. Their dedication to service is for many inspiring, revealing some of the noblest acts of self-sacrifice and altruism. These officers appear to have an ability to transform negative experiences, redirect their emotionally charged frustrations and move from feelings of victimization to using the experience to create new meaning and compassion. This paper will detail what our research over that past 10 years shows the learning police officers and those in other professions and leaders more broadly can gain from these resilient officers and what can be done to ensure people are fully fit for the roles they have to perform. The presentation will go on to detail recent research findings from some work with eleven officers who serve in five different policing agencies in Colorado. These eleven officers were volunteers from a larger group of research participants who were police officers from the United States and the United Kingdom. In this recent research three forms of data were collected – in-depth interviews, brain function using an EEG during computer tasks to measure levels of brain integration, and a paper and pencil test that measured beliefs about consciousness and reality. Although further research is required, these research findings may suggest that adopting strategies that nurture a deep spiritual foundation in individual officers may be of assistance in helping the officer to deal effectively with the toxic nature of police work. Based on the data, we will discuss factors that may have contributed to these findings.


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1st Global Conference on Spirituality in the 21st Century: At the Interface of Theory, Practice and Pedagogy


Prague, Czech Republic

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ARCHIVED Lord Ashcroft International Business School (until September 2018)

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