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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127939 Find in a Library
Title: Dynamics of Fear in Critical Incidents
Author(s): R M Solomon
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
United States of America
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This training brochure examines the dynamics of fear and instructs police officers in how they may use some of the psychosomatic aspects of fear to enhance their chances of survival in a threatening situation.
Abstract: Fear is an "automatic emotional reaction to a perceived danger or threat characterized by a high state of arousal." The first stage of fear occurs as the mind picks up cues that a dangerous, life-threatening situation is imminent. The initial stages of fear are accompanied by a feeling of vulnerability and a sense of loss of control over what is happening. If the officer's mind becomes fixed at this point on vulnerability and loss of control, then fear has become debilitating. To survive in a life-threatening situation, the officer must then shift to a compulsion to act to survive. This compulsion is followed by a rapid choice of a survival strategy, after which the officer commits to the implementation of the strategy. Fear facilitates such action by supplying adrenalin that increases body strength and mental alertness. The shift from a sense of vulnerability to a survival strategy is aided by prior conditioning in survival and emergency tactics, the mental rehearsal of survival techniques, an understanding of the psychological and physical effects of fear, acknowledgement of what can happen, a focus on the will to survive, the use of fear to become strong, and ready access to a mental library of past survival successes. Test questions and answers are provided.
Main Term(s): Police defensive training
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Police occupational stress
Note: Training Key No. 399.
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