7 Ways Mindfulness Could Support Compassionate Policing

Founding Editor Barry Boyce considers what contribution mindfulness practice might make to the change people are seeking in police departments.

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We have a big problem with policing—many problems in fact. That’s been clear for a long time. A force created for public safety and protection too often brutalizes the very public it’s serving, and the results of such brutality—often violent death—are borne most heavily by the racialized and marginalized. In recent days, it has once again reached a tipping point—and there is widespread hope that the shock and outrage and grieving will lead to real change this time. Many communities resolve to effect change that results in noticeable, measurable outcomes. Now.

Mindfulness may be able to help with that change. It can be a complementary part of broad, comprehensive transformation. 

Police have been telling Mindful for years that a few things are missing in their training and preparedness. For example, one thing that would help police de-escalate encounters would be methods for regulating stress based on an understanding of how stress operates in the body and mind. Also, many mindfulness teachers focus on uncovering and working with our implicit bias, which if left unexplored can have tragic consequences.

Mindfulness methods can transform the very act of policing into…