Psychological Factors After Officer-Involved Shootings

Police officers who are involved in shootings are exposed to excruciating psychological circumstances. Many agencies have put in place programs that address psychological needs of police officers who are involved in shootings. Criminal enforcement agencies need to come up with effective programs to help their officers who have been involved in shootings to return to work.


Law enforcement agencies need to have specific protocols that of all police officers who are likely to be involved in shootings. They need to hire qualified who are conversant with various challenges that police officers encounter in their specific working environments. Every officer that is assigned a potentially dangerous criminal task needs to work with a companion. A companion helps an inexperienced officer understand occupational risks he is likely to get exposed ( and Tracy par. 3).

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Law enforcement officers usually reflect on their physical and psychological reactions to a shooting incident, immediately after it has taken place. The emotional and psychological state of an officer needs to be assessed to make sure he provides an accurate report on what happened. Officers need to be encouraged to participate in debriefs to help them cope with difficult situations they are exposed to. Their families should be included in various psychological interventions used to make such officers recover from their psychological problems (Trompette Corey Schmid and Tracy par. 5). In some instances, may need to seek further psychological interventions to aid their recovery.

In some deadly combats, some officers may feel that they did not do enough to reduce the harm other innocent bystanders were exposed to. Some officers get a guilty conscience after such incidents because they feel they have failed to perform as expected. A single evaluation may not conclusively determine the psychological condition of an officer after getting involved in a shooting incident (Trompette Corey Schmid and Tracy par. 7). Law enforcement administrators need to allow officers involved in shootings to be cleared first by mental health professionals before they resume their duties.


Police officers need to be assisted to overcome different psychological problems they experience after getting involved in shootings. Senior police administrators need to rely on the expertise of to assess psychological conditions of their junior officers.

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