We clearly understand what a traumatic incident looks like, feels like, sounds like and smells like. But what really happens to a person who has experienced a critical incident emotionally, physically, cognitively and behaviorally? How can they transcend the grief and loss experienced during a traumatic event? Senior Chaplain Mindi Russell, executive director for the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy in Sacramento, California, and a post-trauma stress specialist, will speak on “The Human Side of a Traumatic Incident” at a breakout session.
Chaplain Russell will talk about what happens when a person experiences post-trauma stressors, discuss understanding the psychological autopsy and the value we put on each trauma, explain how healing can begin, describe what you as a leader can do to empower others who have experienced trauma and guide you in what to expect next.
In her current position, Chaplain Russell brings more than 28 years of experience working with law enforcement, first responders and victims around the U.S. As a career law enforcement chaplain, she oversees 150 volunteer chaplains who serve 19 law enforcement departments, 16 school districts and the community in the greater Sacramento region.
She has served as a national disaster responder and worked with first responders and victims at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001; Hurricane Katrina, the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and others. Chaplain Russell recently worked with the teams responding to hurricanes, the mass shooting incident in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the wildfires in California.
Chaplain Russell has developed and teaches peer support curriculum for law enforcement and high school students, developed and teaches security for faith-based organizations, and was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice to create the crisis-intervention curriculum, “Trauma Response and Care,” she now teaches nationally.
Chaplain Russell has shared the podium and provided invocations for several U.S. presidents, California governors, U.S. and California attorney generals, as well as county, city and state elected officials; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and other state and local agencies; and local, city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the country. She is also an adjunct instructor at Los Rios Community College District in California.
In 2002, Chaplain Russell received the National Crime Victim Service Award from President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. The prestigious award is the highest federal honor for victim advocacy and was given for her service at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001.
The International Conference of Police Chaplains awarded Chaplain Russell in 2010 the John A. Price Award. The award recognizes chaplains who do an outstanding job in their own departments.
Chaplain Russell also recently received resolutions and proclamations from several Sacramento city and county boards and the U.S. Congress for her nearly 40 years of service.