De-escalation vs. Use of Force: Are we sending mixed messages

Dr. Philip J. Swift

 

In 2015, I became involved in a law enforcement reform process that would not only change the way the agency provided services to the community, but would test the resiliency of the agency’s culture. As with most law enforcement reform undertakings, this reform movement came on the heels of a use of force (UOF) incident that resulted in the death of a detainee.  Following this incident community and family members made allegations of excessive force and institutional racism, inferring that excessive force was used because the detainee was African-American. The criminal and administrative investigations into this matter determined that the involved officers had not used excessive force and had not violated agency policy. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Pass Your Pre-Employment Psych Screening

(without driving yourself nuts)

Laurence Miller, PhD

 Many prospective LEOs ask me if there’s any special “advice” I can offer about how to pass their agency’s pre-employment psychological evaluation.  So I’m going to offer some straightforward recommendations for giving the most positive and accurate representation of your abilities and personality during the exam.  And I’m not going to teach you any sneaky tricks or violate any trade secrets to do it.  Read the rest of this entry »

TRAGEDY IN LAS VEGAS

by Keith Bettinger

from Las Vegas, NV   keithbett@cox.net

It is Tuesday October 3. I spent part of the day in the parking lot opposite the Mandalay Bay hotel helping my friends in the Fraternal Order of Police feed and hydrate the first responders working at the murder scene.  Police officers are working twelve hour shifts, yet they are friendly and professional.  They never pass up a chance to thank us for coming to help them.  It was also the day I found out the lady I was trying to locate the night before, is one of the fatalities. Read the rest of this entry »

Pre-employment Psychological Screening for Cops

by Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D.

I’ve been a police psychologist for thirty years; counseling, teaching, giving workshops, and writing books, both fiction and non-fiction.  In my first book, Burying Ben, my fictional alter-ego, Dr. Dot Meyerhoff, deals with a rookie Ben Gomez who kills himself and leaves a note blaming her (not a spoiler, you find this out on page one).  She wonders how her ex-husband, who did Ben’s psych testing, ever found him suitable to be a cop. And why he didn’t uncover Ben’s many lies?  This is fiction. Or is it? Read the rest of this entry »

This is a PTSD technique used by a colleague of mine from Detroit, Michigan using a work of art from Francisco Goya found in Museo del Prado in Spain.  I have seen this work of art live a couple of times in Madrid and never would have made the connection LaMaurice did:

Police Psychology:  The Folly of Fear

 LaMaurice H. Gardner, Psy.D.

This is a picture called the Folly of Fear. Now in the background of the picture (in the past) you can see Spanish soldiers engaged in combat. They are beside the tree fighting for their lives. You can see the front of a cannon just to the left of the left most figure. They are at war.

 Now, in the foreground of the picture (in the present) you can see these same Spanish soldiers. What are they being confronted by? What is that standing over them?

 “A Ghost.” (grim reaper, death, etc.)

 Yes. And what is a Ghost…. a Ghost is a memory from the past. Read the rest of this entry »