How Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Can Improve Police Performance: Public Policy Based on Evidence

Published: Dec 29, 2022
Police Performance HRV Biofeedback Protocols Time Response Lethal Force Public Policy Brazil
Tânia Pinc
Luiz H. Caparroz
Maria Rita C. Santos
Tatiana C. Nery
Marcio Silva Santos

We tested the impact of heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV-BF) on police performance in order to reduce protocol gaps and response time in scenarios that simulate life-threatening situations. The sample gathered fifty-one frontline police officers from the city of Barueri in Brazil who were distributed into two groups: (i) the experimental group (26 officers) which attended a 5-days protocol of HRV-BF training; and (ii) the control group (25 officers) which did not train. The performance of both groups was assessed before and after the HRV-BF training, and the results were compared. The findings show that HRV-BF positively impacted the experimental group's performance by decreasing procedural gaps and timing. In contrast, the performance of the control group remained stable. Based on this evidence, the Secretariat of Urban Security and Social Defense of Barueri decided to make HRV-BF into public policy.

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