How Law Enforcement Leaders Can Build a Trauma Informed Response Culture at Their Agency

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90 Minutes

Originally Aired
August 26, 2020

Mike Schentrup
Captain Michael Schentrup
Patrol Support Commander, Gainesville Police Department, Gainesville, FL, Cadre of Experts, EVAWI
Robert Fanelli
Lieutenant Robert Fanelli
Criminal Investigations Commander, Gainesville Police Department

Progressive law enforcement agencies are changing the way they investigate sexual assault. Based on neuroscience research into trauma’s effect on the brain, police organizations have begun to adapt their perspectives on rape victims’ behavior and memory following an attack. Are these same agencies ensuring their policies and procedures maintain these changes? Are police executives committed to transforming the culture of their agency? Has the overall culture changed, or will gender biases creep back in, negating the progress they have made? Are the positive changes sustainable?

Our police organization adapted trauma informed practices in 2016. We have been committed to these improvements; however, from top to bottom, we consistently see the “old ways of thinking” and gender bias try to reinsert themselves. This webinar will provide concrete answers to these questions and describe initiatives we have used to sustain our progress. It takes a continuous commitment to change.


As a result of this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the importance of a change champion.
  • Describe why your agency’s patrol response may define the rest of the survivor’s experience.
  • Describe the role of middle management in carrying out and reinforcing changes.
  • Explain how your agency’s message to the community can affect the trust you are trying to build. 


EVAWI is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing to provide Continuing Education contact hours for nurses (Provider #15641). 

Registered Nurses may purchase 1.5 contact hours after completing this webinar.

This project is supported by Grant No. 2018-TA-AX-K032 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.