Few professions are more challenging than law enforcement, and it is vital that our officers are equipped with the tools they need to cope with the unique stressors of their jobs. In August 2019, the Attorney General issued the “Officer Resiliency Directive,” a first-in-the-nation statewide program to support the emotional and psychological well-being of law enforcement officers.
- Providing resiliency training for all New Jersey law enforcement officers. The directive required that each state, county, and local law enforcement agency designate a “Resiliency Program Officer” (RPO), who will be specially trained in helping officers handle the daily stress of police work. The RPO will be responsible for providing training for all officers in his or her department, and for also serving as a confidential resource for any officer who wishes to discuss professional or personal challenges.
- Establishing a statewide “chief resiliency officer.” As part of the program, the Attorney General appointed Robert Czepiel, the Chief of the Prosecutors Supervision and Training Bureau in the Division of Criminal Justice, as the state’s first-ever Chief Resiliency Officer, who is responsible for overseeing the statewide program. As part of his responsibility, the Chief Resiliency Officer provides training for RPOs and ensures that all officers have access to the latest resources and trainings.
Upon the retirement of Chief Resiliency Officer Robert Czepiel, David Leonardis of Prosecutors Supervision and Training Bureau in the Division of Criminal Justice has been appointed as the interim Chief Resiliency Officer. The Chief Resiliency Officer is responsible for overseeing the statewide program, ensuring that all RPOs are trained and that they provide training to officers within their law enforcement agencies by December 31, 2022. The Chief Resiliency Officer will ensure that all officers have access to the latest resources and trainings.
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