Police Psychology | “Inside the Mind” of an Anarchist
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
There are the guys seen dressed in all black with black masks that are crashing chairs through windows and ripping up cars alongside of the road at the recent demonstrations. They are destruction-oriented and do not tend to favor either party, although they sit with the extreme left now and most often do. They look for a peaceful demonstrations and turn it into a riot. They call themselves anarchists, and they are not so much of a group as an instant mob, just add water. One thing is for sure, they make a demonstration uncomfortable, not only for police, but for the demonstrators themselves.
A true anarchist does not want any government at all. They fight all forms of authority and even fight the idea that a society should be organized. That is why they look for demonstrations and try to create chaos. They don’t like authority so they destroy anything built by a company, such as a building. The cars they just throw in for free as they represent the hierarchy of life. They wear black for a reason, and it is not to look thin. Black is the absence of color, the absence of light. This is homegrown terrorism and the actors are known as domestic terrorists. But there is more than meets the eye in this terrorist movement. Let’s get inside “THE MIND OF AN ANARCHIST.” Read the rest of this entry »
Police Psychology | PTSD 3: Car Accidents
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
Of course, they’re driving around 24 hours a day, non-stop. The problem is there are other people on the road. The cops have lights on the car and fancy writing, but that just attracts people who have only partial attention to a mundane task like driving. Two cars hit, one of them is a cop car. From helping cop to a victim, from a person in charge to helpless man lying on the ground in pain or even unconscious. At an accident scene, we are worried about everything from keeping the traffic moving to making sure everyone gets the help that is needed. But the help the cop needs may not be as obvious as a broken bone, or some blood-stained clothes. And that becomes a major problem for policing.
A New York Times article in June of last year told a story about a physician that was analyzing a soldier’s brain that had been in Iraq and Afghanistan, and had died of a drug overdose. He was complaining of sleep problems, cognitive problems, memory loss, balance problems and suicidal depression. The physician notices a buildup of a certain type of protein and some dust-like scarring between the gray matter and the white matter of the brain. Many other soldiers’ brains seem to have the same scarring and complained of the same symptoms. The physicians felt it was from blast exposure, or all the loud sounds a soldier was exposed to. Up to 20 percent of soldiers seem to have these symptoms at different levels of severity. Problem was soldiers didn’t want to report it for fear they would be seen as going crazy. The article opines that in World War I, thousands of soldiers were shot for desertion or cowardice that may well of had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In the 2015 movie “Concussion,” Will Smith play Dr. Bennett Amalu who fights against the NFL when he discovers microtears in the brains cells of football players and the NFL won’t recognize it. Players complained of headaches, problems sleeping …(you know the rest). The NFL and the American Military recognize it as a disorder, when will our police departments become aware of it and recognize it? Read the rest of this entry »
Police Psychology | Building Resilience
by Doug Gentz, Ph.D. Psychological Services
Resilience is the ability to effectively and quickly recover from difficulties, failures, illness, and injuries. From a neurophysiological perspective, resilience is the ability to recover rapidly from sympathetic nervous system (SNS) over-activations with adequate parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activations. Since working in law enforcement guaranties moderate SNS over-activations on a frequent basis and intense SNS over-activations on occasion, enhanced nervous system resilience is a long-term survival booster.
Four strategies for enhancing resilience are 1) minimize your exposure to unnecessary negative environmental over-stimulation, 2) take more responsibility for how you interpret your experiences, 3) notice and manage dysfunctional SNS over-activations with PSNS activations as soon as feasible, 4) stay in good cardiovascular condition with a regular aerobic exercise program supplemented with regular strength and flexibility training. Read the rest of this entry »
Police Psychology | Apocalypse or Utopia: You Decide
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
I have learned a lot in my sixty years about the intricacies of the human mind. I have learned about intelligence, about federal politics and the criminal mind. I have learned a lot about women, and especially when to keep my mouth shut. I am learning much more about children first hand, although I had a good handle on them before. And, I am also learning first-hand about aging and the process of going toward the “finish line of life.” But, I have never learned how to predict the future.
I will confess, I did not like Hillary Clinton. I have talked to a lot of federal agents, secret service and the like, who were around her from her husband’s presidency on, and they were not flattering at all to her. Him yes, her no. I also don’t like the refugee situation she wanted to create, the destruction of evidence, the confiscated FBI files from when her husband was president, among other things. On the other side, a close friend of mine did business with Donald Trump, and he was told point blank that he wasn’t getting what he was promised for work already done, for no other reason than Trump was cutting corners. Trump’s brash, emotionally responsive, and unfiltered, and he says things that are just off. He takes politically incorrect to a whole new level, and although I am far from politically correct, I am not as extreme. Besides, I am mellowing with age. What a choice, but the process is over and we go through an inauguration this week, one that is guaranteed to make some happy and others disgusted. But, all said, I still can’t predict the future. What I can predict is we voted for change, and we are likely to get it. Read the rest of this entry »