I wrote the book Spiritual Survival for Law Enforcement in response to requests for exactly this kind of content. Its goal is to provide practical insights and practical tools. It can serve as the springboard for countless conversations on the topic of spirituality within policing and provide many powerful tools with which an officer can fortify his / her spirit and confront the challenges of the career.
Solicit officer participation and feedback.
Only Jay Leno does monologues; you want to create a conversation.
Provide a way for your officers to express their doubts, fears, frustrations, bewilderments, and anger. That’s healthy and desirable.
Giving them the right answer is not as important as giving them the language and permission and comfort to air their questions. Acknowledging this aspect of the career and of the officers has the power to save careers and lives.
Perhaps they won’t feel comfortable to express themselves in public. That’s OK; create some way for them -- a suggestion box, e-mail account, etc. -- to give their feedback privately and anonymously.
Keep it going.
You, Chief, have to support this initiative, or it will die.
Once the basic infrastructure is in place, it can’t degenerate into another rote program that runs on auto-pilot and becomes just another automatic, perfunctory chore that can be discharged without any conscious thought.
Sure, there is a template in place; but you need to keep it fresh, dynamic, open, vital, honest, and real. Otherwise, it will become just another disappointment and betrayal to your officers who saw, at the beginning of the program, the means to alleviate their pain and fortify their spirits.
It requires creative leadership to maintain this delicate balance of putting an on-going program in place and still keeping it fresh and relevant and new. Be that leader who can meet this challenge and support your officers to become their most robust and resilient.