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NCJ Number: 193576 Find in a Library
Title: Impact on Crisis Negotiators of Suicide by a Suspect (From Suicide and Law Enforcement, P 557-565, 2001, Donald C. Sheehan and Janet I. Warren, eds. -- See NCJ-193528)
Author(s): Nancy K. Bohl
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 9
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: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on the methodology and findings of a survey of crisis negotiators regarding their reactions during and after incidents in which a suspect committed suicide.
Abstract: A total of 500 questionnaires were mailed to randomly selected members of the California Association of Hostage Negotiators. Fifty-five negotiators returned usable questionnaires. All had been involved in the last 5 years in incidents in which the suspect committed suicide. The questionnaire solicited information on anxiety symptoms during the incident; formal support afterwards (debriefing by a mental health professional, peer support team member, or chaplain); informal support from coworkers, supervisors, administrators, and investigators; long-term effects of the incident in the form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and work-related problems; specific coping mechanisms used to deal with the feelings aroused by the incident; and current feelings about the incident. The crisis negotiators indicated the prevalence of PTSD symptoms and work-related problems after the suicide of a suspect; however, they minimized the seriousness and duration of these symptoms and problems, reported the use of positive coping methods to deal with their distress, and claimed that their feelings about the incident were readily resolved. Informal support from coworkers and supervisors was reportedly helpful. Formal support in the form of debriefing by a professional or a member of a peer support team was appreciated by negotiators and has some demonstrable benefits.
Main Term(s): Police suicide
Index Term(s): Negotiation; Police crisis intervention; Police occupational stress; Stress management; Suicide; 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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