Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work

By Harold E. Russell; Allan Beigel | Go to book overview

assisted or referred for assistance. Many departments now have an in-house mental health professional or have contracted with the private sector to provide counseling services (chapter 24). Officers and their families should be encouraged to take advantage of these services; confidentiality should be assured. It is helpful if the professional has an office away from the station so that those who come will not have to make their visits known to other officers. There is nothing bad about seeking assistance. However, it is realistic to recognize that police officers may be suspicious that seeking help may result in a negative entry in their personnel jacket.

Edward C. Donovan ( 1989) makes an appeal for peer counselors to aid the department psychologist.

Peer counseling works in the law enforcement vocation. It works when others don't and for a simple reason. Peer trusts peer but not outsiders. The police vocation is a closed society that will not let outsiders (non-police) in . . . the unwritten rule of suffering in silence about all that passes before your eyes and never speaking to others outside the vocation is seldom broken. So who else can a cop who is in trouble with himself talk to but another cop, someone who knows where he's at and how he's feeling about being there. ( Donovan 1978, p. 25)

Similarly, Horn and Solomon ( 1989) consider peer support to be a key element for helping officers cope with critical incident trauma.

Given the importance of exercise in stress reduction, departments need to sponsor on-duty exercise programs. Information and counseling regarding physical fitness needs should be available to officers and their families.

We have emphasized the importance of diet in stress reduction. Department cafeterias and nutrition staff should be encouraged to comply with up- to-date concepts in nutrition through the food that they provide. Just as candy, pop, and other junk foods have been taken out of many school cafeterias and food-dispensing machines, the same could be done in police cafeterias and snack bars.


Summary

This chapter has presented information on stressors in police work. We have discussed how stress may have a positive or negative value. How it affects individual officers is, to a large extent, up to the officers themselves. It is not the event but how officers perceive it that determines how much stress they

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Understanding Human Behavior for Effective Police Work
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Part I Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 the Changing Role of the Police Officer 3
  • Summary 11
  • Chapter 2 Foundations of a Professional Attitude Toward Human Behavior 13
  • Summary 17
  • Bibliography 17
  • Part II the Origins and Complexities of Human Behavior 19
  • Chapter 3 Normal Personality Development 21
  • Summary 28
  • Bibliography 29
  • Chapter 4 the Normal Personality in Operation: Conflicts and the Mechanisms of Defense 30
  • Summary 41
  • Bibliography 42
  • Chapter 5 Abnormal Behavior: What It is and What to Do 43
  • Summary 56
  • Bibliography 56
  • Part III Understanding Mental Illness 59
  • Chapter 6 Personality Disorders 61
  • Summary 68
  • Bibliography 68
  • Chapter 7 Neurotic Disorders 70
  • Summary 91
  • Bibliography 91
  • Chapter 8 Psychotic Disorders 93
  • Summary 107
  • Bibliography 108
  • Part IV Assessing and Managing Abnormal Behavior in the Field 111
  • Chapter 9 Psychopathic Behavior 113
  • Summary 129
  • Bibliography 130
  • Chapter 10 Aberrant Sexual Behavior 153
  • Bibliography 154
  • Chapter 11 Delinquent Behavior 157
  • Summary 164
  • Bibliography 164
  • Chapter 12 Drug-Dependent Behavior 165
  • Summary 181
  • Bibliography 181
  • Chapter 13 Paranoid Behavior 184
  • Summary 191
  • Bibliography 191
  • Chapter 14 Violent Behavior 193
  • Summary 220
  • Bibliography 221
  • Chapter 15 Suicidal Behavior 225
  • Summary 250
  • Bibliography 250
  • Part V Behavioral Aspects of Crisis Situations 253
  • Chapter 16 Behavioral Aspects of Disasters 255
  • Summary 267
  • Bibliography 268
  • Chapter 17 Behavioral Aspects of Crowd and Riot Control 288
  • Bibliography 289
  • Chapter 18 Behavioral Aspects of Hostage Situations 290
  • Summary 317
  • Bibliography 318
  • Chapter 19 Behavioral Aspects of Conflict Situations 319
  • Summary 326
  • Bibliography 326
  • Chapter 20 Behavioral Aspects of Crisis Intervention with Victims 327
  • Summary 339
  • Bibliography 339
  • Part VI the Stresses of Police Work 341
  • Chapter 21 Job-Related Stress 343
  • Summary 363
  • Bibliography 364
  • Chapter 22 Special Stress Situations 366
  • Summary 393
  • Bibliography 394
  • Chapter 23 the Brotherhood of Biochemistry: Its Implications for a Police Career 416
  • Part VII Conclusion 417
  • Chapter 24 the Role of the Mental Health Professional in Police Work 419
  • Summary 434
  • Bibliography 436
  • Index 437
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