Posts Tagged ‘police’

Police Psychology | Opioids and Opiates

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

I live on Long Island, NY.  Last year 493 people died on Long Island from opioid and opiate overdose with Fentanyl being the worse drug for deaths.  That’s more than were killed in car accidents in one of the most heavily trafficked areas of the country.  More than gang related deaths, more than murders in general (although one could argue that a person selling opioids to another is actually committing murder).  Yes, 493 people died last year and the trend so far this year suggests we may actually be ready to beat that number.   So, I called Geisinger-Marworth Treatment Center, an awesome facility in the woods of Pennsylvania, that I refer almost any police officers from anywhere.  I asked them what is the deal with the opioid problem on Long Island and do I have anything to worry about with the nation’s cops.  Some of what I found out is a little disturbing.

Let get the vocabulary right first.  “Opiate” is a word that covers naturally occurring derivatives from the opium plant like Heroin, Morphine and Codeine.  They are the original addictive drugs and really what it was all about when the guys came back from Vietnam addicted to Heroin and Opium.  Opioids are synthetic versions of the opiates like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Percocet, Vicodin, Percodan, and Fentanyl.  Both sets are addictive, but the synthetic drugs have become a bigger problem recently and it’s not just what is being sold on the streets.  (more…)

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Police Psychology | Parkinson’s Law

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

In 1955, a year before my birth, an English historian who had worked in civil service was written up in the magazine “The Economist” about a law of nature that would control my life, in fact, controls many of us.  He said “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”   “Data expands to fill the storage available” is a corollary to the initial observation and finally “if you spend 10 hours on a project you will be twice as far behind than if you only spend five hours on the project.”  I think these were meant to be humorous, but I am not exactly laughing about them.  In fact, it may have been true back then, but now it is more like work expands to fill any time in the day, including the time set aside for relaxation and comfort, and sometimes even dinner.   

Why does this happen?  Why does it seem we are always running out of time?  Why do deadlines appear even when they are not apparent at first?  Of course, there is the obvious, that people’s natural tendency to procrastinate work causes deadlines to appear that didn’t exist before.  People want to do non-work things more than work things.  Deadlines are unnatural and imposed on us usually from outside.  Everybody gets that.  But what are the other reasons that works expands to fill the time allotted or usually more than the time allotted?  How is it that we always seem to underestimate the time needed to complete a project? (more…)

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Police Psychology | Detecting Bombs

by Matthew Sharps, Ph.D. and Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP

To order a copy of Matthew Sharps Book click HERE

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Police Psychology:  Can We Sense Danger?

Gary S. Aumiller Ph.D.  ABPP

 

I was working with my daughter on a science fair project for fourth grade.  She laid out five different colored pieces of paper and put a treat on each, then separately let go of our cat and dog and recorded which color they went to eat.

Human vs. Dog sight

She did that five times to see if our pets had a color preference.  In doing the research for the project, we came across pictures of what a dog sees and what a cat sees.  The dog, of course could only see the color green and some shades of blue, and the cat saw at night, but  the pictures were very blurry.  My 10-year old daughter said “wow my Fluffy and Pinwheel really can’t see me, I wonder what we can’t see.” (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Wish List

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

When I finished my doctoral dissertation, I had mesmerized my committee with a great presentation and knew just about everything ever published on my topic: “training parents to make kids behave.”  I literally knew more then anyone in the room on the topic and when I left the room, everyone was supposedly impressed as hell.  Then I came back in the room, and was told that they felt I was too obsessed with the topic and I needed to learn how to live instead of just the science.  See my mom had died in my first year of graduate school, and I had finished a five-year program in 3 ½ years, and my dissertation was three times the size of most of the dissertations they had seen. The committee gave me an exercise in the book The Magic of Thinking Big and said I wasn’t finished my school until I did the exercise.  I was in shock, but I went home and absorbed the book before I went to sleep (I guess I did tend to obsess) and the exercise was to make a “wish list” of the things I wanted to do in my life.  My list should be 100 items long and I was to think big.

I started writing and came up with 111 things including build a career, go to Paris and Italy, begin to learn to speak Italian.  Then I started thinking big and came up with sing on a gondola in Venice, cook in a French restaurant in France, travel to the furtherest point in the earth, see a national championship football game again, save a life, be in a movie, etc., etc.  I wanted some things that were a little out there, but surprisingly it made me feel better to dream and to take the time to think of myself and what I wanted to do.  I didn’t realize the power of the “wish list” until a few years later. When I had become a police psychologist. (more…)

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