Requiring Mandatory Psychological Debriefing For Officers after Critical Incidents
Alexius, James-Joseph Blake
Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)
Law enforcement officers endure and observe a great deal of violence and tragedy throughout their careers. The quick and thorough addressing of the mental issues that can manifest during and after these incidents is crucial to the future of law enforcement. The result of not addressing the mental issues that can arise from not properly dealing with these types of incidents manifests itself in the form of depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, alcoholism, or suicidal ideations. The responsibility of dealing with these manifested issues is not just with the individual officer, but with the officer’s agency as well. Therefore, law enforcement agencies should implement mandatory psychological debriefings for officers involved in critical incidents. When law enforcement agencies require mental debriefings for officers involved in critical incidents, they will be contributing to the overall mental health of their officers. While there are arguments that requiring the debriefings amounts to a fit-for-duty analysis and not a concern for the officers themselves. The involved officers may also feel that they are able to get help on their own. These arguments, while popular, are rebutted by the fact that mental debriefings can help detect and prevent onset of PTSD, depression, and/or alcoholism. Also, officers can be helped mentally, allowing them to possibly have better temper control and reduce excessive use of force. All of these will help maintain, and in some instances, improve the outward image of law enforcement officers.
Police--Mental Health, Police Psychology, Police Job Stress