Can Police Training Help Align Law Enforcement and HIV Prevention? Preliminary Evidence from the Field
American Journal of Public Health, Forthcoming
9 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2011
Date Written: May 1, 2010
Having identified gaps in implementation of Rhode Island’s syringe access law and police occupational safety education, public health and police professionals developed police training to boost legal knowledge, improve syringe access attitudes, and address needle-stick injures (NSI). Baseline data (94 officers) confirm anxiety about NSI, poor legal knowledge, and occupational risk over-estimation. Pre-training, respondents opined that syringe access promotes drug use (51%), increases likelihood of police NSI (58%) and fails to reduce epidemics (38%). Evaluation suggests significant shifts in legal and occupational safety knowledge; changes in attitudes towards syringe access were promising. Training bundling occupational safety with syringe access content can help align law enforcement with public health goals. Additional research is needed to assess street-level impact and to inform tailoring.
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