Posts Tagged ‘law enforcement’

Officer Down

by Adam Pasciak PhD, LP, Clarkston, Michigan


Over the years a few people have asked me what is was like to get shot. To get it out of the way here, it hurt a lot—at first—but then when you start going into shock that helps. Having said that, I don’t recommend it.

As to how it was I got into the situation I ended up XATELCALin, it was a “routine stop”. My partner and I had pulled over a truck for a minor traffic offense and during the encounter noticed several gun stickers on the truck (not especially unusual in our city) and some odd behavior from the driver. Something about the man led to me wanting to have him exit the truck. As he did so I attempted to pat him down—which was when it went from “routine” to all hell breaking loose. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Get Thee to a Conference

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP


My first experience with a professional conference came when I was 35 years old.  My partner and I had started a newsletter for mental health of police officers in the late 80’s.  In an attempt to getConference it out to the public, we had contacted Clint Van Sandt of the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit.  We went down to see him and we were ushered over to Dr. James Reese.  He was running a program inviting the top police psychologists to stay at the FBI Academy and he invited me to join. It opened up my world to about fifty police psychologists.  Fifty people doing what I did, but also something different.  That different was what I needed to know.  I remember I made a presentation that day about Keeping It Simple as a law enforcement officer.   I quoted some great persons in history like Aristotle, Einstein and Dante who all told you to simplify.  Then I said “we have to go with the modern greats” and I went around the room and quoted the psychologists who spoke before me.  Got everyone’s attention on that one, and it started my work with the FBI and many other departments since. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Processing Under Pressure

A Book Review


I am probably the largest distributor in the world of two books, my own Keeping It Simple and Matthew Sharps’ book Processing Under Pressure.   When a person comes into my office, there is a bookcase on the right with hundreds of books on policing. Topics like Chinese gangs, Mexican gangs, shooting well, booby-trapping, Police Psychology, Cognitive, Police StressIntelligence, counterintelligence, etc.  Keeping it Simple is a natural since I wrote it and is always there.  I had bought back the rights in the late 90’s because the publisher could keep it in stock and get it to me when I was on the road doing speeches.  Cops always pick it up and keep it, which is fine.  They should.  Processing Under Pressure is the other book everyone picks up and starts to read when I make my hourly trip to the bathroom and then they say “Can I borrow this book?  I’ll bring it back.”  Cops never bring it back.  They talk about it non-stop for three or four sessions, but it never sees my office again.  That’s not fine as I have to buy those copies.

How does Processing Under Pressure grow legs or wings or whatever?  Well, the cops that take it, don’t want to give it up.  The book is extremely engaging, explains a lot that cops see in everyday life, and it makes good common sense.  I would say if you were only going to read one other book in policing, Processing Under Pressure is the one I would chose.   How does one think, what do they miss, what are they likely to say when the situation goes bad, all things covered by Processing Under Pressure.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a boss, dealing with a boss, you’re an ES guy dealing with an operation, a military man sizing up a mission, you are a shrink dealing with a client, or a guy or girl scoping out a Saturday night date (I know I am aging myself, young people don’t date anymore), this applies to your life.  So read on, I have 900-1000 words to get you to read this book sooner rather than later in your life. (more…)

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Police Psychology | A Toe for Mickey


Mike went down to the floor a couple of times. Doubled over, holding his stomach, wrenching, trying to catch a breath between the strokes of theanxiety, Police Psychologysword that was ripping out his insides. Mike had a serious anxiety disorder compounded with a quadruple vial of hubris. He didn’t listen when I told him not to go back to work yet. “Life takes awhile to heal; medicine takes awhile to fully work,” I said. He didn’t listen when I said “your mother had this and you brother had this, it might be in your family.” Rather he listened to a boss who said “get back on the horse, psychologists don’t know about being on the job.” He got his medicine and had a flight to health, a flight that made a quick stop in the “relapse zone.”

In police psychology, we understand that some accidents and injuries are to be expected. People get injured all the time. Whether it’s stubbing your toe against a stair, twisting your ankle while stepping off the sidewalk, or accidentally walking into clear glass doors (just me?), the occurrence of accidents is largely inevitable. This same phenomenon can extend to larger (more…)

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