Archive for the ‘Rank and Leadership’ Category

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. (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Rock and Roll

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

I was at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last Monday in Cleveland Ohio.  I had been there before and never saw it as part of police psychology, or psychology at all.  This time I did.

I never knew that The Beatles had 13 original albums and 237 original songs in 8-9 years, Taylor Swift was signed as a songwriter at age 14, or that so many rock singers had country singer Johnny Cash as a major influence on their music.  I didn’t know a lot of what I saw, but there is one thing that stood out to me —  becoming a rock star wasn’t all about talent. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Take the Operational Triangle Home

by Doug Gentz, Ph.D. Psychological Services

The operational triangle was developed to provide a graphic way to represent priorities for officers in the field. At the base operational-triangleof the triangle is Officer Safety which always comes first. The middle level of the triangle is about building Rapport which involves interacting with other people in a way that creates or enhances a relationship and increases your ability to exert the power of influence. Problem Solving is at the top of the triangle and could be as simple as giving someone directions to the bus station or as complex as making a successful case against a homicide suspect.

As opposed to influence, problem solving relies on the power of authority, meaning you can make something happen that eliminates the problem. Your directions relieve the lost pedestrian’s ignorance about the bus station and the case you build against the murderer takes him off the street. Somewhere in between is arresting a drunk driver. When you’re through solving a problem, you can usually go 10-8. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Hanukkah Wishes and Communication

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

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Police Psychology:  Be the Solution, Not the Cause

by Lt. Jason Childers, Texas

We frequently hear about how stressful police work is, and the sacrifices we make in the service of our community is an oft-repeated narrative in police circles. The jerks we deal with on the street, the trauma of violent incidents, rotating shifts, the state of hypervigilance, concerns of personal safety and missed family time are all considered as sources of stress inherent to the job. These shared difficulties help to draw us together as a law enforcement family, but one factor consistently overlooked is that we are one of the main sources of our own problems. The cop staring back at you in the mirror may have more to do with causing job related stress than anything dealt with on the street. The good news is, the cop staring back at you in the mirror can also be part of the solution, especially if you’re a supervisor.
 
How was life when you entered the academy compared to how things are going today? With stringent entry-level standards in policing, most police officers begin their careers in excellent physical and mental health. Along the way, many officers develop signs and symptoms of stress which include poor job performance, sleep disturbances, marital discord, domestic violence, PTSD, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and even suicide. You’ve likely been through some of this yourself, or you’ve seen others deal with it.
 
But where does all of this come from?

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