Critical incidence can be described as any abrupt unexpected event that has the power of overwhelming the usual effective coping of a person or a group of individuals and can result to significant emotional distress in usually health individual. This paper examines a media count of officer involved shooting critical incident.
One can be sure that an incidence of public interest like officer involved shooting happing anywhere for example at the store, media will be certain to follow. The TV camera individuals or newspaper photographers want to photograph the officer involved, though these actions are discouraged but a time it is allowed when necessary or for the best interests of the store firm.
The officer involved may operator under several stressors, for example, the uncertainty of the next call, the hazards associated with the shooting, the human tragedies involved and the fear of doing something wrong, what will be the media reaction, what will be the reaction to workmates. The other job related stressor is post-shooting trauma. The stress from shooting trauma sometimes is overwhelming as the officer may feel betrayed by the department she or he works. He may face administrative and legal proceedings which can as well lead to being disciplined, sued, terminated, or even sometimes charged on criminal case and the Rosenthal effects. Other factors include the image of the officer (Reiser & Geiger, 1984)
The vulnerabilities and resilience factors are: investigation; this occurs when the officer is the only one wearing uniform among the investigators with plainclothes. This makes everyone to know involved officer. There inability to form and sustain relationship also makes them vulnerable. Resilience factors include being taken away from the scene. Other officers feel awkward when their weapons are seized at the scene for ballistics. When fire arm is taken as evidence it needs to be replaced with immediate effects especially when in uniform, may be vulnerable if left unarmed. With immediate effect replacing the gun shows support. (Gabriele & Luca, 2009).
The phases of critical incident stress for officer involved in the incident are divided into two. The first one is immediately after shooting. In this there is denial; at first the officer doesn’t believe there has been the occurrence of the incidence. Officer with gun at hand stands in a manner that suggests disbelief. This phase is normal to individuals having experienced an action that needs immediate decision making with the results are apparently immediate. This phase vanishes quickly as they become aware of the dead body or a wounded subject crying for help. At this moment the officer may render first aid to the person who wanted to take his life, this increases stress to the officer. (Gabriele & Luca, 2009).
The second is fact gathering. Te officer realizes that they have to present facts that relates to the killing and justify it. They prepare for what may be investigation by homicide. Officers are concerned with their positions not wiling to deal with their emotions. Even when the officer is exculpated after the investigation and jury hearing or trial granted, they still face civil actions.
Physical anxiety is another phase. The officer experiences stress even if after reassurance of everything being alright, the body responses with high activity. They are experiencing a fight response. They feel unable to relax and wonder if something is wrong. The physical anxiety feelings results to not sleeping. (Reiser & Geiger, 1984
In conclusion, the intervention of mental health professional in combating stress management has amply demonstrated the utility of these rules in assisting resolve the psychological impact of psychological trauma in a wide range of events (Mangelsdorff, 1985). Psychologists as mental health professionals mostly involved with police departments to make use of learned lessons in similar conditions to give best possible service to people working in the police.