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NCJ Number: NCJ 192286   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Police Responses to Officer-Involved Shootings
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): David Klinger
Corporate Author: University of Missouri - St. Louis
Dept of Criminology & Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 138
  Annotation: This study reviews previous research on police officers' responses when they are involved in shootings, describes the research procedures used in the current study, provides sketches of the officers who participated in the current study and of the incidents in which they shot someone, details officers' experiences during and after their shootings, and concludes with a discussion of the academic and policy ramifications of these findings.
Abstract: Previous research has indicated that during shootings officers sometimes experience sensory distortions such as tunnel vision, auditory blunting, and altered perceptions of time. Regarding post-shooting responses, officers have reported a variety of short-term and long-term reactions that can include recurrent thoughts about the incident, a sense of numbness, difficulty sleeping, sadness, crying, and nausea. The current research consisted of interviews with 80 municipal and county police officers who reported on 113 separate cases in which they shot someone during the course of their careers. Perhaps the single most salient point from this study is that the act of shooting another person did not typically produce lasting disruption in the lives of the officers studied. Officers involved in more than half of the shootings reported no negative psychological, emotional, or physical responses after one week had passed since the incident. The percentage of cases in which officers were reaction-free increased to nearly two-thirds at the three-month mark. It is evident that officers in the current study were far less likely to suffer protracted problems than were their peers who participated in previous research. Possible reasons for this difference are explored. Implications of these findings are drawn for mental health protocols following police shootings and for general departmental policies and procedures following an officer shooting. 15 tables, 8 figures, the study questionnaire, and 24 references
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress ; Psychological stress evaluator ; Police use of deadly force ; Stress management ; Stress assessment ; Post-trauma stress disorder ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 97-IJ-CX-0029
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: See NCJ-192285 for the Executive Summary.
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