Miami Beach Police Department Pilot Nutrition Program

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The holistic wellness program, STEPP, is based on the concept that overall wellness should encompass all facets of our lives. The acronym STEPP includes: Support Systems, Tactical Knowledge & Skills, Emotional Well-being, Physical Health and Personal & Financial Stability. One of the biggest obstacles first responders face is maintaining healthy nutritional habits. The Miami Beach Police Department in Florida was awarded a grant to create a six month nutrition pilot program. The purpose of the program was to help officers improve their nutritional knowledge and learn healthier eating habits, especially as they handle stressful calls, long hours, varying shifts and overall cumulative stress. Goal was to assess and evaluate this program in order to create a departmental nutrition program that could be combined with a physical fitness program.

  • Upon completion, the participant will be able to define the purpose of a nutrition program and why it is necessary for first responders.
  • Upon completion, the participant will be able to demonstrate how nutritional knowledge and healthy eating behaviors can be implemented in your wellness program designed to improve physical health.
  • Upon completion, the participant will be able to list the steps their department would need to take to implement a successful nutrition program ? including research, selection, implementation, cost analysis and evaluation.

Elise S. Taylor, PsyD

Lieutenant/Clinical Psychologist Training Unit

Miami Beach, Florida, Police Department

Lieutenant Elise Spina Taylor is a 25-year veteran of the City of Miami Beach Police Department. While working full-time for the police department, Elise completed her Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology and obtained her Florida License, in 2008. Currently she is the Commander of the Training Unit and Hostage Negotiations Team, the Psychology Consultant and administrator of the Peer Support Team and Department Wellness Program. Elise has over 17 years of investigative experience, working assignments in the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) - Property Crimes and the Homicide - Major Crimes Unit. She later returned to CID at the rank of Lieutenant and was assigned to the Street Crimes Unit, which includes Robbery, Narcotics, Human Trafficking and the Crime Suppression Team. When Elise was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, she was assigned to the Entertainment District - Ocean Drive Squad and then was assigned to the Internal Affairs Unit. Prior to joining the Police Department, Elise was an English teacher and school counselor in the Miami-Dade public school system. Her education and experience have been a great foundation in managing the department wellness and training programs.

Noel Castillo, PhD

Officer/Training Unit

Miami Beach, Florida, Police Department

Ofc. Noel A. Castillo has worked in the law enforcement/correctional field for the past twenty-five years. As a police officer with a sound academic background, he has conducted and assisted with research in the areas of body worn cameras, officer wellness, use of force and juvenile issues. Noel has received awards for his work as a Hostage Negotiator, Training Officer and for the implementation of community outreach programs. Noel has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Florida International University, Master of Public Administration from Barry University, and a PhD in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University. He is a US Army veteran.


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