Emotional Survival For Law Enforcement 2

Satisfactory Essays
Emotional Survival for Law
Enforcement
A Synopsis of
Dr. Kevin M. Gilmartin
“A Guide for Officers and
Their Families”

Journey Through Law
Enforcement
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Idealistic recruits can become cynical veterans. The job can become all consuming.
An individual can change their “world view” to accommodate perceived job parameters. Perception is driven by physiological and psychological demands.

4/10/2007

Dr. Thomas A. Lifvendahl

2

Officer Survival
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„

Suicide is the greatest determinate in officer death (37%).
Depression, isolation, and withdrawal from society and loved ones indicates dysfunction in an officers life.
Officers deny negative aspects of their jobs to justify continuing their careers.

4/10/2007

Dr. Thomas A. Lifvendahl

3

Are the Changes Inevitable?
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Crises management can take on the form of “avoidance” of responsibility.
Emotional survival for the average police officer is dependent on Agency awareness. Teaching a balanced life (police vs. personal lives) is a key task of leadership. 4/10/2007

Dr. Thomas A. Lifvendahl

4

What is Actually Taking Place
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Over time Cops see the world differently. In this new world view:
{
{

{

4/10/2007

Boy Scout Leaders become pedophiles
Cynicism builds (everyone has hidden agendas) Bullshit predominates, almost everyone is morphed into an “asshole”!
Dr. Thomas A. Lifvendahl

5

Hypervigilance
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Definition: A world view based on a “threat based” biologically driven perspective in which everyday events unfold as potentially dangerous to officer safety.
Citizens operate in a bounded context that only periodically assesses personal safety.
Cops can become “hypervigilant” all the time. 4/10/2007

Dr. Thomas A. Lifvendahl

6

Affect of Hypervigilance
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The Reticular Activating System (RAS) of the human brain determines one’s state of awareness.
Heightened awareness stresses the autonomic nervous system by:
{
{
{

4/10/2007

Increasing blood pressure
Respiration
Body temperature and

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