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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200614 Find in a Library
Title: Psychological Trauma in the Police Service
Journal: International Journal of Police Science and Management  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:Summer 2001  Pages:327-349
Author(s): Barbara Plant
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 23
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the responsibilities to police employees exposed to traumatic events at work.
Abstract: Employers have a legal duty of care for their employees and have a liability for personal injury, which includes psychological damage arising from physical injury, as well as psychiatric harm or nervous shock. Chronic conditions arising from the experience of trauma are common and are more prevalent following personal assault. They can cause secondary problems such as broken relationships, substance misuse, and/or loss of employability. They can also be very costly to organizations and society. Methods of minimizing the impact of trauma in the police service involves assessment of vulnerability at the point of recruitment, and general educative input to staff on entry of the organization that is periodically refreshed. Factors to consider in post-trauma care are basic biological needs, hormonal changes after trauma, social support, and post-trauma screening. The first stage of post-trauma intervention in organizations is defusing, which is inquiring after the well-being and needs of staff when they have endured an ordeal that could constitute a traumatic event. The second stage is the critical incident or psychological review that allows for exploration of the individual’s whole situation, of which the traumatic event is one part. Effective care for employees that have experienced a traumatic event is not likely to be achieved by provision of a single-contact intervention such as the psychological debriefing post-trauma. A comprehensive strategy for trauma management involves risk assessment, recruitment and selection practices, education, support, and workplace responsiveness. This trauma management strategy must respond flexibly to the varying needs of individuals and circumstances and meet employers’ objectives and responsibilities without being difficult or costly to achieve. 1 figure, 83 references, appendix
Main Term(s): Crisis intervention; Employee assistance programs
Index Term(s): Counseling; Crisis management; Police occupational stress; Police work attitudes; Stress management; Victim reactions to crime
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