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Police Responses to Officer-Involved Shootings

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Issue: 253 Dated: January 2006 Pages: 21-24
Date Published
January 2006
4 pages
Publication Series
This article presents research findings on police responses to officer-involved shootings.
Main findings of the article suggest that officers experience a range of emotional and physiological reactions as the event occurs, yet contrary to previous research findings most officers did not suffer long-term negative effects following the shooting. Indeed, most officers reported no negative symptoms 3 months following the shooting. Only one reaction, recurrent thoughts, persisted for more than 3 months following the shooting for one-third of the officers who reported problems following the 3-month mark. Factors identified as decreasing negative outcomes following a shooting were support from fellow officers and mandatory time-off. Contrary to previous findings, family support and mandatory counseling were not associated with reductions in negative outcomes for police involved in shootings. The findings call into question the efficacy of police training modules that stress the guilt and depression felt by some officers following shootings and suggest that mandatory counseling sessions for all officers involved in shootings may not be helpful. Research methods involved interviewing police officers and sheriff's deputies recruited through snowball sampling. Tables, note

Date Published: January 1, 2006