According to social psychologist A. Daniel Yarmey, police officers find the nature of their work necessitates that they behave to some extent like applied psychologists. Many police officers, of course, do not have any special training in this or any allied field, nor do they have an understanding of what cognitive or social psychology might be able to tell them about the behavior of those with whom they are likely to deal in their daily work. Similarly, psychologists are habitually asked by the courts to present research regarding eyewitness testimony, forensic evidence, and competency to stand trial, yet psychologists frequently lack any real awareness of policing or of police officers.
Understanding Police and Police Work, the first systematic an comprehensive review of the psychology of police and their work, focuses on the psychological basis of police officers' interactions with society. It shows how psychology and other social sciences can contribute to an understanding of police behavior as well as the behavior of citizens and other professionals with whom the police are involved.