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The Origins

In 2003, while researching the early stages of today’s overdose crisis, we discovered that officers were often inadequately trained about new laws passed to save lives in the opioid crisis. In the process, we discovered that officers were deeply concerned about risks to their safety arising from enforcement activities in the crisis, such as threats of needlestick injury, bloodborne illness, and accidental fentanyl exposure – and they rarely received the training they needed to be both safe and effective.

The SHIELD Training Initiative was created to address these concerns. SHIELD has since expanded to other first responders, and it now provides strategies to protect against the toxic effects of cumulative stress and to improve job satisfaction while performing both new and traditional duties.

Why SHIELD is Different

SHIELD is all about practical knowledge, and our team’s premier knowledge base serves as the program's core foundation. In contrast to trainings offered elsewhere, SHIELD deploys targeted, practice-driven, and research-tested instructional techniques to harmonize police and first responder practices with overdose response. Unlike "off-the-shelf" training modules, we customize the curriculum to specific jurisdictions, giving those working on the front lines actionable knowledge they can implement immediately, such as specific linkages to local services that reduce stress burdens and crime.


How SHIELD Helps

The SHIELD Training Initiative provides police, law enforcement and other first responders operational strategies and best practices to: 

  1. Protect against occupational health and safety risks

  2. Improve job satisfaction by offering strategies to reduce cumulative  stress, trauma and its effects, and burnout – thereby improving retention

  3. Expand their toolbox to enable them to respond more effectively to the public health challenges of the overdose crisis

  4. Reduce addiction and related crime, and

   5. Strengthen police-community relations

Image by Jonnica Hill

Comprehensive Training and Capacity Building

  1. Guiding planning, customization, adaptation, and creation of local trainings

  2. Train-the-trainer services

  3. Training implementation

  4. Fidelity control

  5. Mixed-methods evaluation

  6. Econometric, cost-effectiveness, and epidemiological modeling

  7. Research communication and translation

  8. Community relations

  9. “Champions” program to cultivate interdisciplinary law enforcement leaders

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