SCREENING by MikeJenny


  - Have officer sign waiver
  - EEOC( Equal opp. Employer)- is difficult when testing so essentially the police
     dept. need to offer conditional offers of employment (COE) to say they will have
     the job if they pass a screening
  - There is no conformity in screening some are only interviews others are just
  - The purpose is to screen applicants in and screen applicants out, a legitimate
     reason must be given for hiring someone by screening out, they must fail because
     current situation will affect the way they perform duties

   - Administer background and other uncommon assessments for personality traits
   - Background questionnaire does not include alcohol or mental heath questions and
     can be pre-conditional offer of employment (PCE)
   - 2nd stage is post PCE and screens for pathology and there is an interview-look at
     background and put together
   - Cannot give psychological tests before because need to be interpreted and
     considered medical
   - In assessments client signs release – only give minimal information necessary for
     a decision

Objective Testing
16-PF- Measure of Personality
CPI- Measure of Personality
MMPI- Measure of psychopathy
MMCI- Measure of psychopathy
IPI- Combo of both to make a single test used for public safety- developed by Ingwald

OVERALL GOAL: To assess suitability, do not diagnose ( Only 405 or less are not
found suitable)

Fitness For Duty (FFD)
    - Specialized eval. on police officers or other individuals to assess issues that
       impact a job-suitability and stability (ie. Someone who is depressed is unfit
       because will not meet insight component ect.)
    - Not assessing for pathology, essentially a disability eval.
    - Intended to professionally inform police executives information that touches upon
       behavioral, mental illness, or personality issues that may impact an individuals
    - FFD evaluator does not make final decision about departmental actions but offer
    - Evals. Only have guidelines and no set standards
    - Liabilities- have to respond to the police department but also to the community
    - The referral must be made on a clinical basis and not for administration issues
    - Majority of reforms is dealing with people who are over- stressed
FFDE Referral Reasons
  1. On the job presentation of behavioral problems such as decrease in integrity,
      motivation, and effectiveness (i.e. Excessive absenteeism)
  2. Out of Character job performance (i.e. Forgetfulness, hostility, depression)
  3. Conduct unbecoming of an officer
  4. Use or allegations of the use of excessive force
  5. violence either suggested or threatened
  6. unexplained medical conditions resulting in excessive tardiness, absenteeism, or
      sick leave
  7. Complaints by family, relatives, colleges, friends ect. Associated with off duty,
      substance abuse/use , bizarre behavior, violence (including DV)
  8. Severe emotional distress, diagnosis or mental illness, or psychotropic medication
  9. signs of emotional instability followed by a traumatic event
  10. inappropriate sexual acting out
  11. behavior prohibited by dept rules

Misuse of a FFD Evaluation:
   1. In a situation where an officer has engaged in the clear violation of the criminal
      justice code it is best to decline to order an FFDE and instead consider an arrest
      and arraignment
   2. When a desire exists to dispose of a marginal or annoying officer whose behavior
      has not changed in recent times
   3. Great care and reflection must be used when referring an officer in circumstances
      where an officer has an unresolved lawsuit against the department
   4. FFDE should not be used to supplement the collection of information within a
      criminal investigation of officer misconduct
   5. If an officer goes on meds it is sufficient for an FFDE but not if the officer is
      simply going for marital counseling

Developed in 1902 by Adolf Meyer- modeled from the physical medical exam
Emotional assessment is vital to MSE
Non-verbal behavior is often overlooked along w/ appearance (80-90%)
Use communication skills to assess and examine (ie suicide attempt use empathy for
women and be assertive for males)
   - Is apart of a psychological evaluation: A MSE is appropriate before an assessment
      to determine the selection of an appropriate battery, OR can be used to provide a
      portrait of the person to assist in a diagnosis
General Description
   - Appearance- Body Type, Posture, Clothing, Grooming, Facial expressions, Eyes
   - Behavior and psychomotor activity- Activity Level, Gait (walk),
      Mannerisms/oddities (rocking)
   - Attitude toward examiner- Positive Behaviors (friendly, helpful), Negative
      behaviors (guarded, reserved)
   -   Mood and Affect- Mood (individuals perception of emotions), Affect (present
       emotional responsiveness- constricted, flat), amount and range, duration
   -   Speech- articulation (stutters), quality(loud), Rate of Production (pressured,
   -   Perceptual Disturbances- Hallucination (sensory perception), Illusions (actual
       stimulus), Depersonalization (detachment from or being an observer to ones
       body), Derealization (alteration in the experience of the world)
   -   Thoughts- Process of form of thought(the way an individual puts ideas together
       and associations, flight of ideas (jumping from one subject to the next), Loose
       associations(unrelated and disconnected thoughts), Blocking(interruption in train
       of thought), Circumstantiality (in the process of explaining an idea the individual
       makes irrelevant details/comments but gets back to the original point,
       Tangentially (the individual loses the thread of conversation and does not return
       to original point)
   -   Content of Thought- Delusions (false beliefs), overvalued ideas (shared beliefs
       that influence behavior), Obsessions (thoughts, impulses, or images that are
       recurring), compulsions (repetitive mental acts or behaviors to an observation),
       Suicidal/Homicidal Ideation
   -   Sensorium- Alertness, level of consciousness, lethargic, obtundation (difficult to
       arouse and confused when is aroused, Stupor (responds to persistent stimulation),
   -   Concentration- Attention (digit spans), Concentration
   -   Orientation- Person, Place, Time, Event
   -   Memory Function- immediate memory(recall), recent memory (hours to days),
       remote memory(6 months ago)
   -   Abstract Thinking- highest level of cognitive functioning which is also related to
       general intelligence, education, social background (interpretation of proverbs)
   -   Impulse control- awareness of socially appropriate behavior
   -   Judgment- Does the person understand the likely outcome of their behavior
   -   Insight- degree of awareness and understanding ranging from complete denial to
       external blame to true emotional awareness of problems

   Aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. Aggression
    can be physical, mental, or verbal. Behavior that accidentally causes harm or pain
    is not aggression. Property damage and other destructive behavior may also fall
    under the definition of aggression. Aggression is not the same thing as

    Violence is the exertion of force so as to injure or abuse. Describes forceful
     human destruction of property or injury to persons, usually intentional, and
     forceful verbal and emotional abuse that harms others.
          This typology distinguishes four modes in which violence may be
            inflicted: physical; sexual; and psychological attack; and deprivation

    It further divides the general definition of violence into three sub-types according
     to the victim-perpetrator relationship.
             Self-directed violence refers to violence in which the perpetrator and the
              victim are the same individual and is subdivided into self-abuse and
             Interpersonal violence refers to violence between individuals, and is
              subdivided into family and intimate partner violence and community
              violence. The former category includes child maltreatment; intimate
              partner violence; and elder abuse, while the latter is broken down into
              acquaintance and stranger violence and includes youth violence; assault
              by strangers; violence related to property crimes; and violence in
              workplaces and other institutions.
             Collective violence refers to violence committed by larger groups of
              individuals and can be subdivided into social, political and economic

     The ethologists (scientific study of animal behavior), many of whom hold that
      man is biologically fated to violence.
     The social scientists who believe that violence is a product of social phenomena.
     Violent behavior develops as a result of complex interactions between
      neurobiological and environmental factors

Stress as a contributing factor to violence
   - A stressor is anything existing in the outside world that knocks you or your body
       out of balance, and the stress response is the body’s reaction to reestablish
   - When humans brood about stressful events, they can have the same physiological
       responses. Meaning just thinking about a stressful event can elicit a stress
   - It is not so much the stress-response but rather the activation of the response that
       becomes damaging when it is prolonged or the stress is of a psychological origin,
       leading to both psychological and physiological maladaptive functioning
   - The stress response becomes more complicated as it becomes more chronic. In
       humans, as in rats, if you experience a single stressor, a loud noise, thinking about
       your inability to pay your bills the fight or flight startle response occurs. If the
       human, as in rats, is stressed prior to any type of stressor, the startle/fight or flight
       response becomes exaggerated and more likely to become a habitual,
       conditioned response.

Where Does It Come From
    - Identity deconstruction” and facilitates “learned responsiveness” from training
    Police officers are often viewed as superhuman;
    Police officers tend to remain almost always in a constant state of arousal,
      anticipating that a situation will arise in which they will have to exert control.
    Not being able to separate the professional from the personal identity
Source of Stress
    Shift work, rotating shifts, irregular or rotating days off, holiday work,
     unexpected overtime, court appearances on regular days off, on-call requirements,
     and involuntary overtime are all identified as problematic to police officers.

    Chronic stress arises from frustration with departmental processes and problems
     within a lenient court system. Encountering mainly negative events and the
     exposure to potentially dangerous situation

    Factors within the organizational structure including lack of administrative
     support, inadequate training or equipment, and excessive paperwork also are of

Long Term Potentiation
- is the long-lasting enhancement in communication between two neurons that results
from stimulating them simultaneously.

According to FBI
    - The single most contributing factor to officers killed in the line of duty was his
      or her loss of control.

    Therefore, police officers are trained to maintain constant control of their
     environment, constantly alert and focused, be suspicious of others, and
     behaviorally structured.

    Cynicism- Police officers experience an environment where their work
     experiences are mainly negative. The continuous exposure to this kind of
     environment results in a change in personality into a more pessimistic, more
     cynical, and suspicious entity.

Substance Abuse
    Alcohol use has been reported in 25 to 85 % of incidents of domestic violence.
    Male drinking patterns, particularly binge drinking, is associated with violence
      across all ethnic and social classes.

    Alcohol use can produce aggression, depression, excessive gaiety and
     exaggerated responses.

Chronic Stress
   The brain enters a vicious cycle of emotional and cognitive arousal which over
      time increases in intensity, frequency, and duration.
   Amygdala triggers the stress response; hippocampus tells to shut off. Over time
      the hippocampus becomes atrophied.
   Chronic stress can lead to impulsive, uncontrollable, and aggressive behavior.
   Stress and aggression are mutually reinforcing, this provides reason for not only
      why the stress of a traffic jam leads to road rage, but also why raging triggers an
      ongoing stress reaction that makes it hard to stop.
Neurobiology of Violence
    Norepinephrine: Suicidal and aggressive behavior is associated with
      noradrenergic activity. Stress-elicited noradrenergic activity is linked to irritable
    Neuroscientists believe the brain operates by millions of nerve cells
      communicating with each other. Brain Neurons communicate with each other by
      transmitting neurotransmitters. Serotonin is one of many neurotransmitters
      believed to be responsible for various functions, including how we feel on a daily
    In the central nervous system, serotonin plays an important role as a
      neurotransmitter in the modulation of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood,
      sleep, sexuality, appetite, and metabolism, as well as stimulating vomiting

    Serotonin exerts inhibitory control over impulsive aggression
    The Orbitomedial prefrontal cortex is involved in controlling and inhibiting
       impulsive actions
    The amygdala is all about aggression. Well it is most understood to be related to
       fear, but it is hard to understand why outside of the context of understanding that
       they are anxious or fearful…
    Furthermore, the amygdala and hippocampus are two limbic structures in the
       temporal lobe associated with aggression.
Ethnographic Examination of Law Enforcement
    Cultural Influence:
            Culture is a system of symbols that gives meaning to experience.
    Sociological Examinations:
            Social psychology - we all are effected by those we interact with and our
               social environments play a significant role in how we view ourselves, and
               conversely, how we see ourselves impacts our view of the world.
Social and Cultural Factors Play and Important Role in the Development of Violent
    The cultural value in law enforcement demands domination and control and these
       values are reinforced through socialization, practice, and training.

    These values are socially ingrained in a violence supporting social relationship in
     a violence tolerant culture.

    Violence is learned, sanctioned, and reinforced in the immediate community. It is
     a justifiable response, AND necessary at times.

    Which results in violence likely to be chronic and potentially more serious

    Social Learning: the role or observation and the mimicking or imitating of
     behaviors observed in others, usually referred to as modeling (observational
            Aggression and Violence are learned.
                    Bandura explains that children can learn by watching “others” -I
                      learned it by watching you!
                            Others can be family members, friends, movie characters,
                               video games, and imagination.
      Violence in real life often begets more violence
      Reinforcement: An increase in the probability or likelihood of a response when
       the response is immediately followed by a particular consequence, can be a
       positive or negative reinforcer (operant conditioning)
      Conditioned response: A reflex response elicited by a conditioned stimulus in the
       absence of the unconditioned stimulus (classical conditioning)
      Premack principle: of any pair of responses or activities in which an individual
       freely engages, the more frequent one will reinforce the less frequent one.
      High probability behavior: A response that is preformed with a relatively high
       frequency when the individual is given the opportunity to select among alternative

Learned helplessness
    characterizes the phenomenon of helplessness being a learned state as a
      consequence of calamitous, unpleasant situations in which there is no possibility
      of escape or avoidance (no control, no predictability). This state of helplessness is
      to such a degree that even when an opportunity for escape is provided coping does
      not occur (the dog did not escape).
    The ability to learn to cope with the situation is impacted and a surrender coping
      style develops.
    VERY IMPORTANT: preceding the inescapable shock trials, only by a few trials
      in which the animal can escape (cope, problem solve), prevents the syndrome
      from developing.
    Learned Helplessness is directly related to victims of domestic violence.
    Constant degradation, unpredictability, and insecurity in the face of increasing
      violence distort the way an individual views the world.
    The victim learns that he or she cannot predict the effects of his or her behavior,
      so he or she must develop new coping skills. The victim has no control over their
      situation and that whatever is done is futile. As a result, the individual remains
      passive in the face of unpleasant, harmful, and even damaging situations, even
      when he or she does actually have the power to change their circumstances.
    Learned helplessness occurs when unpleasant situations in which there is no
      possibility of escape or avoidance results in pathological helplessness.

    The dog adopts a surrender coping style.
Learned Responsiveness
    In the case of police officers, perception of control, stress, and coping, at the
      conscious and unconscious levels are closely intertwined.

    Violence is the learned response to mitigate stress as a means to regain power and
     control over a situation.

    This response style represents a last resort in defenses and escalates as stress
     increases and cognitive strength decreases.

    Violence should be viewed as a common, and unacceptable, byproduct, to the law
     enforcement experience.

Ultimate Goal:
     Insight: the degree of awareness the patient has about their psychological

    Judgment: The individual understands of the likely outcome of their behavior and
     weather their understanding of the consequences influences their choices.

To top