KTVU Channel 2 crime reporter Henry K. Lee recently produced a video segment detailing how the Emeryville Police Department is using yoga, meditation and scented oils to help “peace officers” find peace.
Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada is profiled in the piece for her efforts to bring Mindfulness Resilience Training to her squad. “Every first responder out of the gate sees things in life that ordinary people don’t see … yet we don’t teach them how to process that. We are taught to stuff our emotions.”
Police Department ‘Quiet Room’
Officer Michelle Sheppard was tasked with helping assemble a ‘Quiet Room’ where officers could mentally recharge. “I went to my trusty Pinterest and I looked up different ways to incorporate a tranquil room that is still empowering to officers.”
The room is outfitted with stars on the ceiling, cushions, aromatherapy and a library of books relevant to the mental wellbeing of officers.
Also profiled in the segment is Lieutenant Fred Dauer who has embraced breathing and meditation into his daily regimen. “Being able to regulate the cortisol and the physical effects that stress has on the job is extremely important.”
Some of the officers are even using a wearable technology called a Spire Stone that monitors their breathing and vibrates to alert them of sudden changes. “Spire was developed with that in mind,” noted Spire’s Head of Communications Michael Habdank-Kolaczkowski. “It really facilitates ‘life’.”
Tejada acknowledges that all of this might not be right for every officer but seemed confident that it would catch on within police communities as it became more mainstream. “When you work in a fast-paced, dynamic, high-stress profession, these are really good options to have.”
Tejada has been a thought leader in ‘mindful policing’ and featured in publications such as mindful magazine.