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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118902 Find in a Library
Title: After the Smoke Clears: Surviving the Police Shooting -- An Analysis of the Post Officer-Involved Shooting Trauma
Author(s): C E Jones Jr
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 104
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Publication Number: ISBN 0-398-05527-0
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Suggestions for dealing with trauma resulting from a police shooting are offered for police officers, police administrators and policymakers, and both municipal and rural police agencies.
Abstract: Many different areas of the criminal justice profession have been studied over the years, including police stress. Physical, mental, and emotional responses of police situations, however, were not studied until the late 1970's. Researchers found that police officers involved in shooting incidents are adversely affected. The author uses the term POST (Post Officer Involved Shooting Trauma) to describe the impact of a police shooting on the police officer. Four primary high-risk officer groups who may display trauma symptoms include the officer who shoots someone, the officer who is shot, the officer's partner who is wounded or killed, and the officer who is present when someone is killed. POST is a process involving four phases: officer's immediate reactions during the shooting; officer's initial reactions to the event after the shooting incident ends; afterburn stage lasting up to 3 days; and long-range effects. How a police department reacts to a shooting depends on the community, administrative officers' knowledge and priorities, department size and budget, and department personnel motivations. The major department task is to investigate the shooting and determine if the shooting was within policy. The trauma and stress experienced by a police officer's family must be considered. Coping with POST requires significant effort and commitment from the police officer, the police department, the officer's peer group, and family members. A model policy for dealing with officer-involved shooting incidents is provided. 25 references, 9 tables, 2 figures.
Main Term(s): Post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD)
Index Term(s): Assaults on police; Police deaths; Police occupational stress
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