The Complexity of Uniform Policing

Risk assessment for critical infrastructure assumes uniform police will run at catastrophic and violence events everyone else is running away from. Often they must make time-sensitive judgments on personal and public safety in high anxiety environments.

At the same time, the public and the courts expect uniform police , as primary sensory and verbal information gatherers, to make every judgment and decision rationally and impartially. All this happens in an environment that is often a perfect storm – dealing with their own emotions, while having to deal with the motions of others.

Intuition and time-sensitive judgments draw on prior emotions-laden experiences. The intensity (valence) and influence of these experiences in policing ranges from highly negative to highly positive, which accumulate over a career. In the worst case scenario with highly negative experiences, people end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

More thought is required on whether uniform police should be recruited for their emotional intelligence (EI) aptitude. More should be known and practiced on what in-service self-awareness and resiliency maintenance training is needed to  mitigate unintended consequences from environments and situational circumstances employers put uniform police in.

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