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NCJ Number: 122827 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Fitness-for-Duty Evaluation
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:57  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1990)  Pages:39-42,53
Author(s): A V Stone
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Fitness-for-duty evaluations are needed when police officer behavior poses a risk. Reasons for such evaluations may include drug and alcohol abuse, emotional disturbances, violence or threats of violence, poor judgment, and abuse of authority.
Abstract: In the typical case, the initial determination that fitness-for-duty is in question is made by a supervisor, internal affairs department, or other division within the police department that has personnel responsibilities. Police agencies should provide training for supervisors to help them recognize symptoms of alcoholism, drug abuse, behavior control problems, and mental illness. Further, agency policies should address supervisory responsibility for making appropriate reports when deviant behavior is observed. Once a problem has been identified, the situation should be referred to a psychological services unit if one exists, internal affairs, or an employee assistance program. As with most disability evaluations, the psychological fitness-for-duty evaluation must incorporate the following: psychiatric diagnosis, if any; performance limitations in areas essential to the job of public safety officer; expected change; necessary interventions; and conclusion as to the police officer's fitness to perform assigned duties. Most fitness-for-duty evaluations concern impulse control, substance abuse, or general observations about employee behavior, such as withdrawal from contact with work peers and irritability. While serious problems related to the emotional fitness of police officers plague many police agencies, few have formalized procedures to address the need. Nonetheless, a fitness-for-duty program can prevent the occurrence of more serious problems. Procedures for conducting a fitness-for-duty assessment are detailed.
Main Term(s): Police performance evaluation
Index Term(s): Mental health; Police effectiveness; Psychological evaluation
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