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NCJ Number: 193536 Find in a Library
Title: From Critical Incident Stress to Police Suicide: Prevention Through Mandatory Academy and On-the-Job Training Programs (From Suicide and Law Enforcement, P 83-96, 2001, Donald C. Sheehan and Janet I. Warren, eds. -- See NCJ-193528)
Author(s): Maria Haberfeld
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Quantico, VA 22135
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Behavioral Science Unit FBI Acad
Quantico, VA 22135
United States of America
Document: PDF|PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses practical issues in dealing proactively with the stress experienced by police officers in their daily work, with attention to mandatory training both at the academy and on the job.
Abstract: The article begins with a presentation of three real-life encounters that involved frustrated and misunderstood police officers, so as to emphasize the need for an expanded definition of critical incident stress. One encounter consisted of a 3-hour meeting in the command and control room of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), in which departmental "brass" aggressively questioned front-line officers about their performance. A second encounter involved the mistaken-identity killing of Amadou Diallo in New York City by four plainclothes police officers; and the third case involved the suspension of an off-duty police officer for drinking and displaying his weapon while off duty. The three cases are presented as stressful events for the officers involved, although they may not have been perceived as stressful by the police administrators whose decisions contributed to the stress. If the stress occasioned by particular events in a police officer's experience are not recognized and treated, they will lead to cynicism, depression, and, in extreme cases, to police suicide. After presenting an expanded perspective of critical incident stress for police officers, the author revisits and extends Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which, in turn, provides fertile ground for the development of new training modules that focus on safety/security needs and stigma, as well as the need for self-esteem, which may be undermined by being negatively labeled. A new approach to training for stress management draws on the FIT (feelings, inputs, tactics) model, which focuses on tactics for dealing constructively with potentially adverse feelings. Guidelines are offered for training under the FIT model in the police academy and in-service training.
Main Term(s): Police suicide
Index Term(s): Police academy; Police crisis intervention; Police in-service training; Police occupational stress; Police recruit training; Suicide causes; Suicide prevention
Note: A paper submitted to the Suicide and Law Enforcement Conference, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, September 1999.
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