Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work

Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work

Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work

Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work


When it first appeared in 1976, Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work quickly became the foremost guide for the officer on the force and the recruit in the classroom. Today, the new third edition is still the only comprehensive book on the subject. Thoroughly revised and updated, this edition covers important new developments in the field, including the emergence of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Teams, which help emergency service personnel survive the impact of critical incident stress. This edition also addresses the psychological aspects of proactive police work. In a world ridden by drugs and violence, it is no longer enough merely to respond to incidents. Police forces around the country are being called upon to perform community-based services to reclaim neighborhoods dominated by crime. As in the previous editions, the heart of the book is a virtual catalog- enlivened by vivid case histories- of the kinds of deviant behavior today's police officer is likely to confront, along with valuable suggestions on identification and management.


Too often human behavior and police work are viewed as occupying opposite ends of a continuum. The assumption of the uninformed may well be that each merges toward the other; the more unacceptable the behavior, the closer the potential encounter with the police function. While this is true, it is fortunate that Drs. Russell and Beigel realize, and emphasize, that not all behavior that police confront is criminal or even unacceptable. Police serve American communities in roles ranging from social services to SWAT (Special Weapons Assault Team) operations.

Assisting law enforcement officers in their role has not been a traditional function of mental health professionals. Drs. Russell and Beigel have masterfully blended behavioral science and law enforcement into a manageable text of inestimable value. The first edition of Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work (1976) was a pioneering effort in many ways and serves as a benchmark in the efforts toward this unification of disciplines.

Because of the popularity and widespread acclaim of the first two editions of this book, it seems natural and necessary for a third edition to be published; hence this book. A reading of this edition has exceeded all of my expectations.

By all standards, this is a state-of-the-art publication regarding understanding human behavior as it relates to police work. This third edition continues the excellent reputation and dignity the text has enjoyed since its first publication. Of note, and unique to this text, is the fact that the authors . . .

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