The Lone Star Solution: A Bold Plan to End Law Enforcement Suicide in Texas
This conference workshop presentation provides the audience with insight, details, and hallmarks of how Texas leadership came together to develop the goal and plan to end police suicide in Texas. In 2019, there were 19 police suicides in Texas. This placed Texas in the top three states in the country in number of police suicides. To eliminate police suicide and increase the wellness and resiliency of Texas officers, agency and association leadership, police research and training institutes, and legislators have embarked on a bold statewide plan including peer intervention training initiatives, family programs, association programs available to all departments, and legislation proposing the Nation's first state-supported law enforcement peer support network open to all Texas officers.
Bennie Wagner, MS
Caruth Police Institute
B. J. Wagner, MS, possesses a unique blend of first-hand law enforcement experience and a deep knowledge of police policy and operating procedures, program evaluation, technical advising and procedural reviews. A noted leader in law enforcement policy, her 2019 review of the Austin Police Department resulted in significant departmental policy improvements regarding the city’s audit response and its capacity to capably deal with mental health-related situations. And, as the primary architect of the RIGHT Care-Dallas program, and engineer of many of Texas’ prison reentry systems, her work has led to the development of nationally recognized and internationally awarded law enforcement, criminal justice, crisis intervention and response systems. B. J. began her career in law enforcement as a county jailer and later as a law enforcement officer in rural, urban, and border areas of Texas. After completing studies in clinical neuropsychology and counseling psychology at Texas A&M she began working in community mental health clinics while consulting with law enforcement agencies on best practices and developing police training curriculum for mental health awareness, symptom recognition, and verbal de-escalation techniques. In 2015, B.J. joined the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), leading its work in Smart Justice. She has helped expand its reach to larger behavioral and health systems and assisted communities across Texas to increase prevention and intervention services and reduce chronic crisis cycles and justice involvement for people with complex healthcare needs. In October of 2019, BJ was appointed by the University of North Texas Dallas through a unique relationship with MMHPI as the Executive Director of the Caruth Police Institute. In this role, B.J. will set strategic goals and plans to shape the future of the Institute’s police training, education, academic offerings, and research, as well as determining the development of capacity for evaluation, policy analysis, and technical assistance.
Chief of Police
Irving, Texas, Police Department
Chief Jeff Spivey began his career with the Irving Police Department in 1986 as a Public Service Officer and worked his way through the ranks serving or supervising in all areas of the department. He was appointed Chief of Police in March of 2017. During his tenure, Chief Spivey has enhanced community outreach through the nationally recognized ShopTalk program, implemented peer support services, formed a mental health response unit, led a departmental reorganization and increased personnel by 12%. Chief Spivey promotes a culture of Procedural Justice throughout the organization. In all interactions, he emphasizes the importance of treating everyone with respect, giving them a voice, being transparent, and fair. He demonstrates his commitment to this policing philosophy by personally teaching all new recruits these tenants during their implicit bias training. Chief Spivey holds a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management from Sam Houston State University. He is a graduate of the 252nd Session of the FBI National Academy, the Senior Management Institute for Police, and the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas Leadership Command College at Sam Houston State University. He chairs the Caruth Police Institute Executive Advisory Board; serves as Treasurer on the Police Executive Research Forum Board of Directors; is Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Chiefs of Police Midsize Agencies Division Executive Committee; co-chairs Pathways to Hope Advisory Board, a reentry/diversion program through One CommunityUSA™; and is a board member of Brighter Tomorrows, an organization empowering survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Assistant Chief of Police
Dallas, Texas, Police Department
Stan Standridge, President Texas Police Chiefs Association
Chief of Police
San Marcos, Texas, Police Department
Stan Standridge, Chief of Police for the San Marcos Police Department, began his law enforcement career in 1995 with the Abilene Police Department, where he worked as Patrol Officer, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Assistant Chief. He also spent a decade on the SWAT Team, served in Internal Affairs, and was an instructor on several topics including Ethics, Leadership and Active Shooter. On July 9, 2009, Stan was appointed Chief of the Abilene Police Department, serving for eleven years in that role. Since 2004, Chief Standridge has been a certified adjunct instructor with Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), which is the national model used by law enforcement in response to active threats. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, session 226, as well as the Texas Leadership Command College, class 59. In August 2018, Chief Standridge graduated the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar. He holds an undergraduate degree from Midwestern State University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a Masters of Public Administration from Sam Houston State University. Prior to his policing career, Stan served in the United States Air Force as a Security Specialist, serving two years overseas and two years at Dyess Air Force Base. Chief Standridge currently serves as the President of the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the SafeShield Committee Chair for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including 20 Under 40 Business Leader, Executive Leadership Award, I-CAN Hero, and the TPCA’s Innovation Award. Chief Standridge and his lovely wife, Beth, reside in San Marcos, Texas just a short drive away from their grown children and their families. As a leader, his primary passion is to faithfully steward those in his charge and to build strong bridges with the community they serve.