Archive for the ‘Public Information Bureau’ Category

Police Psychology: Law Enforcement Longevity and Loss of Self

Michael Tavolacci, PhD

Peak Performance Biofeedback, Inc.

(The interpretation of statistics and the opinions expressed in this piece are the author’s own, not reflective of the website or the editor’s.)

Consider:

In 2011 65 police officers were shot and killed! (Violanti, 2012)

In 2011 147 police officers committed suicide! (Violanti, 2012)

Ironically, the sad reality is police officers commit suicide more frequently than the civilian population. Admittedly, there are a myriad of possible explanations for the statistics, access to firearms being among the most commonly cited factors. I would suggest there is an important change that takes place in an individual who, previously determined to be of sound mind, commits suicide, weapon access notwithstanding. Degradation of self-worth, loss of hope, and feelings of helplessness are commonly understood to be elements in suicide and must have been prompted by some new variable in the officer’s life. Once the decision has been reached the weapon is merely a tool to do the job as there are various ways to end one’s life.

The Cumulative Career Traumatic Stress (CCTS) detailed by Marshall speaks directly to the hopelessness that accompanies suicide. I envision the three concepts of the suicide dynamic as the legs of a stool. As Marshall suggests that the officer’s sense of hopelessness is derived from constant, never-ending, stress, I see the leg weakening, at risk of collapse. The leg that represents the helplessness of suicide emerges as officers come to feel they cannot free themselves from the urge to help mankind, in the face of insurmountable cynicism for the very same. The third and final leg of the stool, worthlessness, represents the diminished public support perceived by most officers as they are often vilified for their mistakes and seen as representative of an increasingly distrusted government. (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Active Shooter Events and News Media Reporting

Philip J. Swift, Ph.D.

It is well known that Active Shooter Events (ASE) constitute a threat to public safety in the United States. The overwhelming goal of an Active Shooter Offender(s) (ASO) is to murder and injury as many people as possible before being denied additional victims, even though the offender’s justification for committing an Active Shooter Event (ASE) varied from offender to offender. In the study “Active Shooter Event Severity, Media Reporting, Offender Age, and Location” I predicted that there was a correlation between the rate of news media reporting about an ASE, occurring in the United States between April 20, 1999, and June 15, 2016, and the severity of the subsequent ASE. I further predicted that the age and the regional location of the offender (ASO) would moderate the predicted relationship between the dependent and independent variables.  A lot of scientific talk, but let me explain. (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Emotional/Social Intelligence

New Software Upgrade for Police Officers

by William Cottringer, Ph.D.

Effective policing involves excellent use of all cognitive skills, especially emotional and social intelligence (E/SQ) Emotional/social intelligence can best be defined as involving the following group of skills:

1. Self-awareness. This is the ability to know and understand your own emotions, strengths, weaknesses, drives, goals, beliefs, perspectives and values, and to recognize their impact on others. This skill allows you to read others better without imposing your own projections or normal expectations that others should think and behave the way you do. At the same time you are keeping your own limitations in check so you don’t miss the other person’s abilities and weaknesses. (more…)

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Police Psychology Interview:  Intelligence and Counterintelligence

with James Turner, Ph.D.

 

Some of the earliest use of psychology in operational policing was by the military.  I remember reading stories of how B. F. Skinner invented a pigeon-controlled missile which were much more accurate than the guidance systems available at the time.  Police psychology: counterintelligenceEbbinghaus had military applications of his memory work at the turn of the twentieth century, and we all know the history of the IQ tests had military motivations.  Jim Turner worked in developing many uses of intelligence and counterintelligence while working for military agencies and police agencies some of which are still classified.  His last work was for the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy where he taught.  This was an interview with Jim to learn a little more about intelligence in the police psychology world.

Gary:  Jim, what exactly is intelligence?

Jim:  Intelligence is a collection of information from a variety of technologies, that have to be interpreted.  Different types of intelligence include actionable intelligence, direct action and responses, then there is background intelligence on ongoing, internal and external processes.

Gary:  Then what is Counterintelligence? (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Stop the Murder!

by Dr. Gary S. Aumiller

Enough is enough!  In fourteen days, there has been a wholesale killing of people in a concert in Manchester, at a tourist site in England, and a guy with a hammer attacking people in Paris, in the shadow of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  My wife said after the second attack that our 10-year old will never be able to visit Europe like we did without thinking about danger.  She’s at the age where she would be at an Ariana Grande concert and we would have taken her there.  And we certainly have been on the London Bridge when we were in London and at the Basilica when we were in Paris.  These sites are only about 200 miles apart.  It’s like 3 attacks from New York to Baltimore, or San Francisco to Fresno, or Miami to Orlando.  How do we Stop the Murder!

Obviously, allowing Sharia courts of law (the UK has at least 85) and setting up their own government is not going to help terrorism.  Allowing open borders doesn’t seem to help terrorism, circa 2017.  And constantly repeating statements like “we are all immigrants” does not help terrorism.  What is the secret, and where do we go from here?  I mean other groups have assimilated into American culture.  I can’t remember a story about an Amish person killing people or knocking down a building.  The European Jews, Chinese, French, and Italians seem to have assimilated well, sometimes even into their own separate neighborhoods.  As far as home grown, Mormon religions are non-violent, as are the Jehovah’s Witness.  They may be annoying proselytizers, but really we can shut a door on them without worrying about being blown up.   What is the difference and can police psychology help us understand how to handle this new terrorism better? (more…)

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