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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193587 Find in a Library
Title: Victim-Precipitated Homicide: Incident and Aftermath (From Suicide and Law Enforcement, P 677-687, 2001, Donald C. Sheehan and Janet I. Warren, eds. -- See NCJ-193528)
Author(s): Ralph L. Rickgarn
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 11
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: Instructional Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The training materials for police departments provided in this article are designed to help police officers cope constructively with incidents in which subjects intend to commit suicide by acting in such a manner as to force police officers to shoot them.
Abstract: The materials describe the various psychological impacts that a victim-precipitated killing can have on the involved officer. This includes the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms include a persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event, persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing general responsiveness, and persistent symptoms of increased arousal. Other symptoms include resentment, disbelief, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, depression, a feeling of loss of control, and anxiety. Even if cleared of any fault in the killing, an officer must still cope with his or her own emotional reactions in the aftermath of the killing. Departments should have critical incident stress debriefing personnel who can engage the officer and focus not only on the events of the incident but also on the psychological aftermath. The specific type of grief associated with such trauma must be recognized and addressed when counseling officers. Grieving symptoms as well as counseling techniques to address them are presented in these training materials. Recommendations are offered for maintaining an officer's health and providing guidance for the enhancement of constructive coping mechanisms.
Main Term(s): Police stress training
Index Term(s): Critical incident stress; Police occupational stress; Police use of deadly force; Suicide
Note: A paper submitted to the Suicide and Law Enforcement Conference, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA, September 1999.
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