The JAYC Foundation sent a multi-disciplinary team of therapists and an equine specialist to Kansas City, Missouri for two separate days of Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Training workshops. The recipients of the training were primarily members of the Kansas City, MO Police Department with the coordination provided by Captain Chelly Pfeifer. The workshop is experiential, incorporating equine assisted exercises designed to not only engage the officers in an interactive manner but to promote self awareness in a non-threatening manner. The activities are not only challenging but entertaining for the participants and team.
This was the fourth training provided by the JAYC foundation with a focus on the law enforcement population. What was unique to this particular workshop was the relationship developed with the Kansas City Mounted Patrol Section. With the cooperation of Sgt. Joey Roberts and Officer Mike Mast, the mounted patrol was instrumental in providing a facility and their beautiful horses for the workshops. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with this wonderful group. It is touching that each of the horses is named for a fallen officer. The officers provided the team with transportation throughout our stay in Kansas City, for which we were very grateful.
The curriculum included exercises that focused on the concepts of awareness, attitude, critical thinking, communication, cooperation, safety, and connection. Much of the discussion surrounded the issues of the trauma to victims and to responding officers when there has been an abduction in a family or other crimes against children. The group was able to hear the inspirational story of Terry Probyn, the mother of Jaycee Dugard and talk with her about her experience. Her story exemplifies not only hope and courage, but the need for improvement in the thoroughness of the work that all of us perform. Our intention was to support and educate law enforcement professionals about the needs of the victims and victims’ families and to encourage awareness and empathy in law enforcement professionals. We discussed research and recent trends in the field of abduction and child exploitation.
Our team came away from Kansas City with new friends, renewed enthusiasm, and a new awareness and appreciation of the hard work that is done by our law enforcement agencies. We hope that those we trained left with a new awareness, appreciation, compassion and respect for their colleagues and for those they protect and serve.