Police Officer, NIJ LEADS Scholar Wauwatosa Police Department, United States
Moral injury is related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other adverse mental health outcomes in the military. Although it has been proposed police can also experience moral injury, there is little knowledge about how this phenomenon impacts law enforcement. This presentation describes results from the first study of its kind exploring moral injury in American law enforcement professionals, including a new dimension of cumulative moral injury that is not present in military research. We describe the process of sustaining a moral injury, morality’s relationship to PTSD, recovery trajectories, and implications for leadership. Our partnership is used as a case study to discuss the importance of practitioner-academic partnerships in research to inform police priorities relating to officer wellness and safety.