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NCJ Number: 167007 Find in a Library
Title: Critical Incident Stress: A Policy for Reducing Its Impact
Journal: Gazette  Volume:58  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1996)  Pages:2-5
Author(s): D Nurse
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R2, Canada
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English; French
Country: Canada
Annotation: An effective program in critical incident stress management can minimize the psychological impacts on police of incidents involving emotional trauma.
Abstract: Incidents that can induce a deep, emotional impact and overwhelm a police officer's ability to cope include shootings, the death or serious injury of another police officer, a gruesome homicide scene, or any case involving multiple casualties. Police officers may experienced sleep disturbances, flashbacks, exhaustion, appetite changes, heightened irritability with loved ones, and many other symptoms. These symptoms should begin to decline within 7 to 15 days. A three-stage program can minimize the effects of critical incident stress. Educating officers prior to their exposure to critical incidents can be an effective means of reducing their emotional trauma. In 1988, the International Association of Chiefs of Police approved guidelines for reducing the emotional distress of police officers involved in shootings. Part of the treatment should be a mandatory, confidential debriefing with a licensed mental health professional who is experienced with both trauma and the law enforcement culture. Any police officer experiencing a critical incident should be offered assistance in dealing with emotional trauma, because the treatment officers receive can help or hinder their efforts to overcome the trauma. Reference notes
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Critical incident stress; Employee assistance programs; Police stress training
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