Police Peer Support: Does it work?
The Efficacy of Law Enforcement Peer Support
By: Police Psychologist Jack A. Digliani, PhD, EdD
EDITORS NOTE: This article was submitted by CopsAlive longtime contributor Dr. Jack Digliani and it is of particular importance because I believe he has created one of the first and certainly most thorough evaluations of Proactive Peer Support programs ever conducted. Jack is truly one of the world’s preeminent promoters of effective law enforcement peer support and how to properly train for it. READ this article, visit his website, and use his free materials that are available here on CopsAlive and also on his site. If you haven’t had Jack conduct a training program for your agency yet, you are truly missing the best!
Peer support teams within law enforcement agencies have existed for many years. Although many law enforcement officers and police psychologists have advocated for peer support programs, there has been surprising little research providing evidence for the efficacy of peer support.
To gather information about the use and outcome of agency peer support, the peer support experiences of employees of three northern Colorado law enforcement agencies, Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, and Loveland Police Department, were assessed utilizing the Peer Support Team Utilization and Outcome Survey. The peer support teams of each agency are well established, similarly structured, and function under the oversight of a licensed mental health professional. Each member of the peer support teams was initially trained within the Police Peer Support Team Training program.
The applied methodology for Survey distribution and collection produced a return of 644 surveys. This represented approximately 77.9% of the survey-eligible population. Of the 644 surveys collected, 631 were returned completed (76.3% of the survey-eligible population).
The rate of return… Continue reading
Article by Jack A. Digliani, PhD, EdD – Police Psychologist
Law enforcement officers and others around the world mourn the police officers and civilians killed during several recent terrorist events. Some of these events, involving nothing less than the premeditated assassination of police officers, are indicative of the tragic state of affairs confronting modern society.
What kind of person is capable of carrying out such violent acts? What mental states could drive a person to target police officers or to engage in the random killing of persons unknown to them? The answers to these questions are complex… Continue reading
Albert Einstein once said “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Seems he was sure about human stupidity.
In light of recent events, it has become increasing difficult to argue against Einstein’s position. The human capacity for stupidity, especially when assessed through the observations of nearly incomprehensible human cruelty, certainly seems unlimited.
As a species, humans are an interesting lot. Collectively, we have developed sciences and created technologies that would have appeared magical just a century ago.
Modern medicine, space exploration, computer science, electronic communication, social media, and numerous other disciplines are reflective of advances that are unprecedented in the previous totality of human history. Our knowledge and accomplishments increase exponentially with every passing year. Maybe we are not so stupid after all.
But there is another side to the human equation. This side has less to do with science, technology, and achievement. This side has to… Continue reading
Today CopsAlive.com is pleased to announce Police Psychologist Jack Digliani’s newly developed “Make it Safe” Police Officer Initiative. The Initiative is comprised of 12 primary components designed to reduce the secondary danger of policing.
What do we have to do to Make It Safe for police officers to trust one another enough to be able to ask for help when they need it? What do we have to do to our law enforcement culture to make seeking mental health support for stress related issues okay?
How can we truly walk our talk enough to really have each others back and really “take care of our own?”
You can start “Make It Safe” in your agency by distributing and discussing this initiative. We must all work to make it safe for officers to ask for psychological support.
What is the Make it Safe Police Officer Initiative?
The Make it Safe Initiative is a concerted effort to… Continue reading
A finalized report of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website shows a total of 129 police officer fatalities in 2012. Of these, 52 are specified as “traffic-related”. This is in contrast to 49 officer deaths specified as “firearms-related”. The remaining 28 officer deaths are attributed to “other causes.” This is a reported decline of 22% compared to 2011, when 165 officers died in the line of duty (72 firearms-related, 60 traffic-related, 33 other causes).
These fatalities are representative of the primary danger of policing. The primary danger of policing is comprised of the inherent risks of the job, such as working in motor vehicle traffic, confronting violent persons, and exposure to traumatic incidents.
Sadly, there is an insidious and lesser known secondary danger in policing. This danger is often… Continue reading