With Olympic Games just a year ahead, the pressure is mounting on Rio de Janeiro police. But they know how to deal with it.
Security has remained a major challenge in preparation for the grand international event. Recent terrorist attacks in Paris have further aggravated fears about what the Rio police must be prepared to prevent and tackle.
To prevent stress-induced burnout, this week a group of 400 elite Rio police officers started a course of Transcendental Meditation.
Chief of staff of the military police in Rio, Colonel Robson Rodrigues explained the move in Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper:
“A policeman that is less stressed will have better capacity to make decisions and will fire less during an operation.”
He also added that if TM is proven to reduce the stress, the goal is to expand teaching the technique to the whole troop.
Scientific studies have repeatedly proven that TM practice can reduce stress. Its efficiency has also been put to test in real-life situations, reducing the tensions of other high-stress occupations, like first-responders.
The meditation program will be coordinated by Klebér Tani, 54, director of the Transcendental Meditation center in Rio. Tani has taught TM to celebrities and politicians, including former governor Sérgio Cabral.
The courses will be funded by the David Lynch Foundation, an organization founded by the iconic film-maker David Lynch who has been himself using the technique since 1973. Lynches aim is to “prevent and eradicate trauma epidemic and toxic stress among populations at risk.”
In Rio, by training the local police officers about to face major stress to meditate, the DLF is contributing to a calmer city — and more peaceful Olympics.