Podcast Series: The Beat

Welcome to the COPS Office's podcast series, The Beat. The Beat features interviews with experts from many disciplines and provides law enforcement with the latest developments in community policing. Below, you will find the most current The Beat podcasts. To access previous episodes of The Beat, visit The Beat archive.

We'd like to invite you to share your feedback and suggest topics you're interested in hearing more about. Also, do not miss a single podcast by subscribing to receive The Beat in your inbox.

The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.

Featured Episodes

Life Aid Research Institute: Building Bridges and Improving Community Safety


John Wordin is well known for transitioning from a 260-pound college football player to a 185-pound professional cyclist in 16 months. Today, he has transitioned into an entirely different realm, and is the founder of the Life Aid Research Institute. Life Aid is a suicide prevention program for military veterans and first responders by applying a whole health approach and peer support. John joins The Beat to spotlight those who are at risk of suicide and also examines how their families are impacted.

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Current Episodes

Marc Hildebrand is a currently serving law enforcement officer with over 18 years of experience. He struggled through a 100-pound weight loss journey while losing touch with his family and blamed it all on the unavoidable demands of police work. After successfully getting into the best shape of his life and establishing emotional balance he now works to help other officers get in shape, connect with their family, and change the trajectory of their career through his First Responder Fitness program.

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Chuck Jordan—A Law Enforcement Leadership Profile

Chuck Jordan retired as the Chief of the Tulsa Police Department in 2019, and during his 50-year career he made quite a mark on the profession. From his very first day on the job when he responded to an armed robbery call, to serving as a Commander of the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in war-torn Kosovo, Chief Jordan has seen a lot. As the Chief in Tulsa, a city with a well-document history of trauma stemming from the 1921 Black Wall Street Massacre, Jordan led his department’s response to a high-profile police involved shooting and a racially motivated spree of shootings that threatened to open old wounds from 1921. Whether you are a patrol officer, supervisor, or executive, Chief Jordan’s conversation with The Beat offers insight into contemporary issues in policing that should not be missed.

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Center for Council

Center for Council focuses on intensive training in wellness, empathy and resilience to address officer health and performance -- and builds on those skills with powerful opportunities to foster improved community relationships, effective de-escalation practices and meaningful procedural justice. Center’s Executive Director, Jared Seide, along with one of their law enforcement counselors, Rich Goerling, join The Beat to discuss their law enforcement programs.

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Kathleen O’Toole—A Profile in Law Enforcement Leadership

Kathleen O’Toole worked her way through the ranks to become arguably the most experienced woman in the history of American policing. She has served as the Chief of the Seattle Police Department (WA), Commissioner of the Boston Police Department, Lieutenant Colonel of Massachusetts State Police, Secretary of Public Safety for the State of Massachusetts, and Chief Inspector of Ireland’s National Police Service. Chief O’Toole (Ret.) joins The Beat to share her experiences and discuss current law enforcement issues.

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Black Voices in Policing—Perspectives of Someone Who Wore the Badge

Matthew Horace began his 28-year career with a local law enforcement agency, and concluded it as the Special Agent In-Charge of an Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Field Office. He is also the author The Black And The Blue, a book that details his experiences serving as an African American Officer and Special Agent in a work environment that was often unaware of, or insensitive to its’ own biases. He joins The Beat to discuss how law enforcement can move beyond an all too frequent disconnect with communities most in need of effective policing, and the participation of law enforcement officers in the January 2021 storming of our nation’s Capitol Building.

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Black Voices in Policing—Texas Southern University’s Center for Justice Research

The Center for Justice Research is housed at Texas Southern University in Houston, which is one of our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The Center is a research organization devoted to data-driven solutions for an equitable criminal justice system. Howard Henderson, Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Center, and he joins the Beat to discuss their focus on culturally-responsive, evidence-supported solutions and strategic engagements.

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Black Voices in Policing—Uniting a Community Divided by Hate Crimes

Dr. RaShall M. Brackney spent 30 years with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police before taking command of the Charlottesville Police Department in Virginia. She arrived in Charlottesville shortly after the Unite the Right rally in the summer of 2017. Her charge, help move a traumatized community past the experience of being invaded by hate. Chief Brackney shares her thoughts, as a leader and African American law enforcement professional, on unifying a diverse community, post-hate.

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You Are Not Alone: A Law Enforcement Approach to Monitoring the Needs of Vulnerable Citizens

Throughout our communities, seniors and individuals with disabilities live alone, and may face challenges that put them at risk, or result in neglect of their basic needs. The Paradise Valley Police Department’s (AZ) You Are Not Alone (YANA) program is an automated, proactive approach that supports these citizens without overburdening department resources. Officer Steven McGhee and Patricia Wagner join the Beat to discuss YANA.

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Resilient Minds on the Front Lines

Resilient Minds on the Front Lines is a program developed to support law enforcement and other first responders with tools and knowledge that can help them cope with the stress inherent to a profession requiring self-sacrifice in the name of serving the ‘public good’. During this episode of The Beat, the team behind Resilient Minds discusses techniques and resources available to help first responders continue helping others.

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NYPD Coronavirus Operations

The NYPD’s Patrol Services Bureau is responsible for operations conducted by the majority of the department's uniformed officers. These officers work out of 77 precincts that each serve a population of between 70,000 and 150,000 people. Deputy Chief Pichardo speaks with The Beat about how the Department responded to the Coronavirus, and shares his perspectives on the commitment of NYPD officers.

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Jail Operations in the Coronavirus Era

A career public servant, Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian oversees one of the nation’s oldest law enforcement agencies - the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Koutoujian joins The Beat to share his experiences and lessons learned leading his organization through the height of the coronavirus.

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7 Habits of Unsuccessful Departments

Leadership is critical to the success of every department. However, perceptions of what constitutes effective leadership can vary depending on when and where officers enter the profession. Chief Joel Shults (Ret.) joins The Beat to provide insight gained during his 30-year career about successful police leadership.

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Accessing Free Online and In-Person Training through the COPS Office Training Portal

In this episode of The Beat, Sheila Gunderman and Evan Mishler from the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) discuss the training resources offered through the COPS Office’s Training Portal. The Portal is a no-cost resource for entire departments, academies, and individual officers to access a high-quality, interactive e-Learning curriculum.

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Building Personal Resilience

The Madison (WI) Police Department’s Building Personal Resilience project was developed in coordination with the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing and focuses on helping officers dissipate stress and effectively self-regulate as they endure the rigors of the job. Captain Mary Schauf (ret.) and Sandra Ramey, PhD, RN, join The Beat to share Madison’s experience.

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Wounded in the Line of Duty: One Park Ranger’s Story

Brody Young is a Utah State Parks Ranger who was shot nine times, left to die in a remote location, and is back on the job today. Ranger Young speaks candidly about the incident, his recovery, and how the experience has changed his life.

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Mitigating the Risk of Heart Disease in Officers

Jon Sheinberg is a Lieutenant with the Cedar Park Police Department in Texas. Lieutenant Sheinberg is also a practicing Cardiologist, and he shares information about the prevalence of heart attacks among officers and offers suggestions on how cops can reduce their risk of heart disease.

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Counseling Officers: Perspectives of a Police Psychologist

Mark Kirschner is a Clinical Psychologist who has spent his career working directly with law enforcement officers. Dr. Kirschner shares information about how officers can offset the unavoidable emotional stress that comes with wearing the badge.

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The Beat: Archive