skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 113897 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Post-shooting Trauma
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:55  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1988)  Pages:40,42,44
Author(s): R M Solomon
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A police officer who fatally shoots a suspect or who is involved in another critical incident experiences an emotional aftermath that has several phases.
Abstract: About one third of officers have mild reactions, one third have moderate reactions, and one third have severe reactions. During the moments of peak stress, the officer experiences many physical, psychological, and emotional phenomena and perceptual distortions. When the shooting ends, the officer experiences the shock disruption phase, which includes an 'adrenaline high.' From 3 days to a year later, the emotional impact phase hits, as the adrenaline high wears off. During this phase officers may experience many types of emotions that are actually normal but that they may regard as signs that they are going crazy. The final two phases are the coping phase and the acceptance phase. Even after reaching resolution and returning to duty, situational reminders may trigger the emotions felt right after the incident. During these phases, administrators should provide support, help reduce stress without compromising the investigation, and follow the guidelines set by the International Association of Chiefs of Police Psychological Services Section. A peer support team composed of officers who have been involved in critical incidents is another effective resource.
Main Term(s): Police use of deadly force
Index Term(s): Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.