Social Reform, Policing and Mindfulness as a Tool For Teaching Skills of Essential Humanity – An Interview with Former Police Lt. Richard Goerling

In this very timely episode, I interview former police lieutenant Rich Goerling who, now retired from long-service in the military and law enforcement, is a frequently sought after consultant and trainer for bringing mindfulness and compassion skills to police departments across the country. Join our conversation as we pursue understanding of the painful puzzles of race, policing and social change in current times of division and how mindfulness and compassion skills are ripe for creating authentic bridges and foundations of true understanding and healing for all.

About Rich:

Rich Goerling is a certified mindfulness trainer, a retired police officer and military veteran who believes in your innate resilience, humanity and capacity to show up and thrive amidst hard circumstances. Rich specializes in training health, resilience and human performance skills to first responders and other high reliability professionals. Rich has developed a training specialization in first responder mindset, health, resiliency and human performance. Over the last decade, he spearheaded the introduction of mindfulness skills training into policing as part of a larger cultural transformation toward a compassionate, skillful and resilient humanitarian ethos. Rich served in civilian law enforcement for twenty four years and has extensive experience in patrol operations and criminal investigations. He retired from policing in 2019 at the rank of lieutenant at a police agency in Oregon. Rich also served as a member of the United States Coast Guard for 27 years, both active and reserve, and retired in 2015 at the rank of Commander while assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston, SC. Rich is a co-investigator and trainer in ongoing National Institutes of Health funded research on the impact of mindfulness training for police officers. He holds an affiliate assistant professor appointment at Pacific University in the School of Graduate Psychology. Rich also holds an adjunct faculty position at Portland State University in the Hatfield School of Government where he teaches leadership ethics in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program. Rich has earned an undergraduate degree in economics and a graduate degree in business administration. He has completed a year-long mindfulness training program at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles and is a certified mindfulness facilitator (CMF). Rich also completed an intensive training in the Foundations of Interpersonal NeuroBiology at the Institute for Health Professionals at Portland Community College. One of Rich’s current projects is being trained by a Therapy K9 named Buddha so they can work as a team to bring joy and mindfulness skills to responders and veterans.

Learn more about Rich and his work at

You can find Rich here: Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn