What is the BJA's Valor Program?

What is the BJA's Valor Program?
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Inside the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), there are many branches that specialize in different tasks. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), under the guidance of the DOJ, created the Valor Safety and Wellness Program. The point of this blog is to help educate our men and women in blue on the benefits of participating in a federally funded program to support law enforcement. 

What is the Valor Safety and Wellness Program?

“The Valor Safety and Wellness Program is dedicated to preventing injuries to and deaths of law enforcement officers and the people they serve and improving the health and resilience of officers”. The program accomplishes this goal through 6 features that all training is based upon. These features revolve around education, dealing with challenges on the job, inspiring other officers through real-world accounts, How to prepare yourself for duty, 24/7 access to content, and providing experienced instructors who know what they’re talking about and how to teach.

IS THE VALOR PROGRAM FREE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT?

The Valor program offers very limited resources for free unless you’re a sworn-in officer currently working for a police department. If you’re an active officer, you will be given complete access to the entire website, free of charge! 

The reason they’re able to offer this level of support is that the program is federally funded under grants that allow for any law enforcement officer in the country to gain access without charge. 

In order to register an account with Valor for Blue, click the registration link and follow along with their prompts. Many of the videos that I reference below will require an active account to access. It’s very important that each officer create their own account and not create one account for an entire department. 

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You can earn certificates for professional development with an individual account and can’t do so with a joint account. It’s all free for the police, so take advantage of these valuable resources. It will only take about 5-7 minutes to create an account. 

EDUCATION

As a former police officer and high school teacher, the education aspect of the Valor Program is what I appreciate most. There are a few other organizations that we’ve discussed, such as the NIJ, ALERRT, and C3 Pathways that offer great education resources about on the job situations, such as active shooters and mass casualty events. 

The Valor program offers resources on active shooter events, as well, but I’d like every officer to defer to the ALERRT or C3 Pathways on active shooter events. Today, we’ll focus on all other aspects of police life, such as mental health, physical protection, and physical & mental preparation. 

The first place every officer should go is the Valor eLearning webpage to start training. There are dozens of modules to choose from that cover almost every situation relative to being a police officer. 

CHALLENGES 

Once you watch through the relative videos inside the eLearning page, you can start to implement what you learn in training environments and real-world scenarios. The challenges feature is designed to incorporate the learning from the modules inside the eLearning page with the Resources page. The Resources section provides peer-reviewed research based on law enforcement tactics and responses to difficult situations. 

The whole point of the Challenges feature is to challenge the mindset of law enforcement and encourage growth through real-world application and in-class academic learning. The Valor program wants to change the behavior and attitudes of police officers towards the public with factual resources and on-the-job training. 

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INSPIRE

The Valor Program is a great resource for not only learning how to deal with specific scenarios related to the job but also a great way to get inspiration from fellow law enforcement officers (LEOs). Inside this program, you'll learn about officers all across the country that have been through the training and found a way to save their lives through the implementation of the curriculum.

Story of Pat Long

PREPARE

Preparation is the key to success in almost anything you do in life, especially a career as dangerous as law enforcement. Not only will the Valor Program help mentally prepare you for the trials and tribulations you’ll face on a daily basis, but they give you ideas and tips on how to get yourself in physical shape. 

Many LEOs have heard the saying, “complacency kills”, but for whatever reason, avoiding complacency isn’t trained as often as it should be. During my time in Iraq, we went 4 months without being attacked. It drew everyone into a sense of complacency that was very difficult to get over. It wasn’t until we hit our first IED and complimentary ambush that we realized it was too late to be proactive. 

Most police go decades without having to ever pull their gun, but it only takes one second to change the course of history. The Valor Program offers guidance from active LEOs both federal and state to combat complacency so it doesn’t get you or your teammates killed. 

24/7 CONTENT FROM VALOR PROGRAM

The ability to offer content around the clock is vital to mission success because LEOs work around the clock. Unfortunately, police don’t get to just clock out at 5 pm because the common workday is over. The BJA and DOJ fully understand that in order to take full advantage of the resources available, they must be available when LEOs are at work. I recommend getting those certifications and training done on your weekend night shifts. 

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EXPERIENCED INSTRUCTORS

There is nothing worse than being taught by someone with zero experience in your field. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to sit through training from people who were never involved in law enforcement. Credibility matters when someone is trying to teach because if the audience doesn’t believe what they’re hearing, they won’t listen or use the info. The Valor Program training is led by career LEOs from 20-year F.B.I. agents to 30-year Chiefs of Police. Everything you learn from this program has been used in real-world situations, by real officers. 

Physical Protection

The Valor Program covers more topics than we can discuss today, but since we’re a ballistic protection company, I want to focus on providing physical protection to our officers. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), an LEO is killed every 63 hours. As painful as that is to hear, there are ways to prevent you from being a statistic. 

Ballistic Protection

According to The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), at least 3,200 officers have been saved by a ballistic vest. There is no secret that LEOs have been killed at a higher rate this year than last year (9% increase in 2021). With the increase in violence towards LEOs, the time for advanced body armor is now. The NLEOMF, acknowledges that there has been an 8% increase in LEOs shot and killed on duty in 2021. 

What Can ShotStop® Offer LEOs?

The Valor Program has many videos and peer-reviewed resources to show the benefits of wearing body armor. They even have a series of videos on how to properly wear, train, and take care of your vest, called “Bullet-Resistant Vest Series- Fit, Care, Wear, and Prepare”. We always recommend following federal and state guidelines on the proper use of and care of body armor. 

ShotStop® believes in providing the best available ballistic protection at an affordable price for police departments. As you’ll see everywhere on our page, our motto is We Protect the Protectors. We want all LEOs to understand that body armor doesn’t have to equal misery or discomfort. We recommend using the tips and guidelines found in the Valor Program to properly train yourself with our Duritium® plates.

It’s very difficult to explain, but the first time you hold a ballistic plate from ShotStop®, you’ll be in complete disbelief. It took me seeing our Level IV plate shot by 7.62mm bullets for me to believe that a plate so thin and light can stop multiple hits from such a high caliber. The best part of it all is that our Level IV+HA plate is in process of being NIJ-Listed to provide 100% confidence. 

WHAT IS THE LEVEL IV+HA PLATE?

Our newest plate to the collection is our Duritium® Level IV+HA stand-alone plate. I realize that many officers are thinking that, “if most shootings are with handguns, why would I worry about carrying extra weight for something I don’t need?” 

The answer is simple and we surely don’t blame anyone for asking the question. The reason this plate is so unique is you get Level IV protection with a plate that is only 4.5 lbs and under 1” thick. I’m not an engineer, so I have no clue how our team was able to create a plate that can stop an armor-piercing bullet fired from a Draganov with a weight similar to soft-armor inserts. Regardless, I believe it’s always best to prepare for the worst and expect the best when it comes to personal protection. 

At the time of this article, there is no other ballistic plate in the world that offers Level IV protection with the specifications we offer. As bold of a statement that is, our Level IV+HA plate will outperform any plate you’ve ever owned. 

SHOTSTOP® WARRANTY

The ShotStop® warranty for Level IV plates is 10 years and 15 years for our Level III plates. Our Level III plates have a warranty that is 3x longer than any other company we’ve researched and 2x longer for Level IV plates. Our upfront costs might be a couple hundred more than most of the competitors, but you’d have to buy 2-4 plates more to match the ShotStop® warranty. Needless to say, ShotStop® provides the best warranty in our industry because we are confident in our products. If you have any questions or would like to place an order, email our sales team at sales@shotstop.com


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