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Next-Gen Leadership: Championing health and wellness initiatives

By prioritizing their own health, leaders strengthen their ability to support and sustain the wellness of their team

In the eighth of a 10-part series titled “Next-Gen Leadership: Solutions for Today’s Police Supervisors,” Gene Reid, Ph.D., a seasoned police veteran and founder of Reid Training Solutions, dives deep into the critical topic of health and wellness.

Reid not only explores individual health and wellness but also extends the discussion to how these practices can be integrated into small group dynamics and organizational culture within law enforcement.

Key learning points

  1. Leaders must maintain high physical and mental fitness to effectively guide and influence their teams.
  2. Leaders directly shape the health culture of their teams; their personal health practices set a behavioral standard for others to follow.
  3. Organizing group workouts fosters team cohesion and emphasizes the collective pursuit of health.
  4. Active engagement in wellness initiatives by organizational leaders strengthens program credibility and employee participation.
  5. Using devices like smartwatches can provide actionable health data, encouraging smarter health choices and supporting wellness programs.

Questions for discussion

  1. How can police departments more effectively integrate physical fitness standards into their routine without adding stress or pressure to the already demanding job of policing?
  2. What are some challenges leaders might face when trying to lead by example in health and wellness, and how can they overcome these challenges?
  3. In what ways can group workouts or team-building exercises that focus on health and wellness be tailored to accommodate different fitness levels within a police department?
  4. How important is it for police supervisors to have access to mental health resources, and what role does peer support play in enhancing mental wellness in law enforcement?
  5. What measures can be taken to ensure that health and wellness initiatives are inclusive and sensitive to the diverse needs of all officers within a department?
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By prioritizing their own health, leaders strengthen their ability to support and sustain the wellness of their team

Gene Reid is a police sergeant for the New Castle County (Del.) Police Department. Gene is currently assigned to the Professional Standards Unit and is highly active with the department’s officer wellness initiatives. Before being promoted, Gene was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit for over six years.

Gene holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice, with a specific focus on stress management and resilience. Gene also has an MS in education and a BS in public safety administration. Gene is an avid fitness enthusiast who trains Jiu-Jitsu and has completed numerous triathlons, including Ironman Maryland.

He is the founder of Reid Training Solutions and recently published “Police Leadership Redefined - The EQ Advantage: Transforming Law Enforcement with Emotional Intelligence.”