Forensic Psychology Professional Roles When Working With Police Operations – Coursework Example
Forensic psychology professionals and police administration Over the years, interactions between law enforcement agencies and forensic psychologists have rapidly evolved, whereby the public has witnessed the provision of more services by forensic psychologists to the law enforcement community (Brewer & Wilson, 2013). The change is attributable to the public’s demand more accountability within the police force and increased professionalism among police administrators. The two major categories of services provided by forensic psychologists to law enforcement agencies include investigative psychology and police psychology (Bulsik, 2009). The focus of this essay is on police psychology, which encompasses the provision of psychological services to law enforcement administrators. Explored below are two main roles of forensic psychologists: pre-employment psychological screening and services addressing critical incidents.
Pre- employment psychological screening entails the use of psychological assessment tools to evaluate potential law enforcement recruits’ personality, intelligence and overall mental fitness before their induction into the agency (Jamel & Adler, 2005). Through screening potential recruits, forensic psychologists help administrators choose the best candidates capable of fulfilling their tasks without minimal difficulties. Administrators keep the dossiers compiled during the screening process as reference material for future critical situations such as when reviewing an officer’s competence in the event of a critical incident.
In addition, forensic psychologists provide services customized to address critical incidents such as police suicides, shootings, and use of excess force (Gudjonsson, 2003). Critical incidents pose problems for administrators, as they have to decide whether an officer’s actions were pre-meditated and malicious. Forensic psychologists perform Fitness-for-Duty Evaluations (FFDE), which assesses an officer’s psychological functioning in order to determine their ability to meet the demands of their job (Fischler et al., 2003). Depending on the results of the FFDE, a forensic psychologist makes recommendations to administrators pertaining to the officer’s job functionality.
In sum, forensic psychologists aid police administrators in the recruitment and maintenance of officers by assessing their psychological functioning. They use the psychological tools at their disposal to aid administrators make decisions pertaining to personnel.
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Fischler, G. L., McElroy, H. K., Miller, L., Saxe-Clifford, S., & Zelig, C. O. (2003). The Role of Psychological Fitness-for-Duty Evaluations in Law Enforcement. Retrieved from The Police Chief: http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2449&issue_id=82011
Gudjonsson, G. H. (2003). Psychology brings justice: the science of forensic psychology. Criminal Behaviour & Mental Health, 13(3): 159-167.
Jamel, J., & Adler, J. R. (2005). Forensic Psychology: Concepts, Debates and Practice. International Journal of Police Science & Management, 7(2): 143-145.