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Critical Incidents in Policing

NCJ Number
J T Reese, J M Horn, C Dunning
Date Published
401 pages
This volume presents 49 papers from the Critical Incident Conference held in August 1989 at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia to discuss issues related to critical incidents in policing; the participants included 50 mental health professionals, employee assistance providers, chaplains, and police officers.
The presentations focused on a variety of critical incidents. These included violent deaths of another worker in the line of duty, taking a life or shooting someone in the line of duty, the suicide of another worker, responding to or handling multiple fatalities or hostage negotiations, observing an act of corruption or other illegal activity by another worker, and suspension or threat of dismissal. The papers examined the impacts of critical incidents on police officers and presented options and theories regarding coping mechanisms related to traumatic incidents. Individual papers focused on the assessment of personality characteristics related to resistance to posttraumatic stress disorder, the chaplain's role in critical incident response, the development of a crisis care unit, and developing a peer support team. Other papers focused on the use of cognitive defenses in critical incident stress, posttraumatic therapy, posttrauma vulnerability, counseling of disabled police officers, and posttraumatic stress disorders and the role of the family. Tables, figures, footnotes, and reference lists