Police Psychology is the application of behavioral science and mental health principles to the concerns of police officers, their families, the department, and the community. Police psychologists perform a wide range of functions, which can be divided into several broad categories.

Clinical and Mental Health Services include:

  • Critical incident stress debriefing.
  • Post-shooting trauma intervention.
  • Individual and family psychotherapy.
  • Substance abuse counseling.
  • Individual and departmental stress management.

Operational Assistance Services include:

  • Hostage and crisis negotiation.
  • Interview and interrogation.
  • Criminal profiling and investigation.
  • Antiterrorism, undercover, and other special assignments.
  • Crime victim intervention and assistance

Administrative and Policy Services include:

  • Internal investigation and fitness-for-duty.
  • Community policing and officer-citizen contact.
  • Forensic psychology and expert testimony.
  • Leadership and management training in police administration.

Police psychologists can work either as departmental employees or as external consultants to the police agency. In many departments around the country and worldwide, police psychologists contribute to making officers' jobs - and lives - more effective, productive, and rewarding.

Laurence Miller, PhD is a clinical, forensic, and consulting psychologist in Boca Raton, Florida. This information is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to make a clinical diagnosis or render a legal opinion. Dr. Miller can be reached at 561-392-8881, or at docmilphd@aol.com.

© 2006, Laurence Miller, PhD. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent of Dr. Miller.