Hiring a Specialist Trained in Police Psychology Is Mission-Critical to Achieving Success

Dealing with a demanding population, such as police officers, where workplace stressors are complex and legally and culturally challenging, requires an expertise that not every licensed psychologist can fill. In fact, the exact opposite is often the case: psychologists without specialized knowledge and training can actually do more harm than good when treating police officers or consulting with department related to assessment. This is the first in a series of articles that explore why it’s mission-critical — to the well-being of personnel, the department, and the general public — to work with a qualified police psychologist. Not everyone is an expert These days it seems everyone claims to be an expert. No matter your profession, or your calling, you’re bound to encounter a colleague or a rival who professes to have all the answers. Which is fine, when it comes to general fact-finding or short-term problem-solving. Yet when situations require a specific expertise, it’s time to call a specialist; if you rely upon past methods using the same approach in these situations, then the results will be sub-optimal.  Nowhere is this more critical than in providing psychological services to a complex, highly scrutinized, and even marginalized population, such as police officers, whose workplace and private lives are often characterized by complex and challenging stress factors. Providing access to a specialist psychologist is extremely important in handling certain matters successfully, such as conducting pre-employment and fitness-for-duty evaluations. What does ‘qualified’ mean? Quite often however, a situation arises that requires an expertise that not every licensed psychologist can fill. For example, a “generalist” psychologist is not likely informed about the psycho-legal...
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