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Department of Sociology


"Wouldn't it be great to one day get a neuroscientist and a Buddhist in a room together to help just sort out the policing brain?"

In 2019, the National Police Wellbeing Lead, CC Andy Rhodes, made this observation at the annual #UpBeat conference, and just under a year later, Dr Jess Miller, Dr Rick Hanson and Police Care UK have helped make it a reality.

Understanding how the policing brain works using neuroscience and learning from disciplines which use mental practice has significant benefits for policing as an institution and for the individual. This is especially true in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which officers need support on the ground to respond to extraordinary and rapidly changing circumstances.

In this video conversation, Rick and Jess offer practical tips for officers on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as sound advice for leadership on how to embed resilient policing brain traits into the wider culture of policing longer term.

Author of the book Resilient, Rick is a psychologist and New York Times best-selling author. He’s been an invited speaker at NASA, Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and meditation centers worldwide. His books are available in 28 languages and also include Buddha’s Brain, and Just One Thing. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR.

Dr Jess Miller is Principle Investigator the award-winning Trauma Resilience in UK Policing project, bringing 20 years of research experience, including work in critical incident support and preventing violent extremism. Jess now translates the latest neuropsychology into the reality of operational police trauma resilience training and surveys police wellbeing across the UK.

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The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Independent and The Times.

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