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Psychology for Law Enforcement Essay

1. Describe the standard policy regarding confidentiality for a police psychologist. Be sure to address handling records, being a counselor versus evaluator, and your role during critical incident debriefing.

Different legal foundations have set standards regarding the standard of confidentiality for every police psychologist. Psychological services for the police have considerably grown providing a number of clinical and occupational functions. They include operational support services, training, research and counseling services. However, handling confidentiality matters have grown recently and an evaluation between counseling roles and evaluation abilities. By and large, the police psychologist is an evaluator and therefore at liberty in making independent and fair assessments. He/should should prove high levels of confidentiality in records concerning work fitness. This is to imply that a police psychologist should be professionally sound in matters of handling records. Any disclosure of the records pertaining physical fitness can only be done during times of necessity.

The evaluation process should avoid discrimination or unfair justice to the assessed. Like an evaluator, he should posit high morals concerning fair assessment of the fitness to work by the police officers. This is presumed important because the assessment regarding work fitness is what shows whether an officer can perform or not. They should maintain highest caution in protecting the confidential information that is stored in various media forms and the regulation for such disclosures should be within the limits of the law.

Above been record keepers, police psychologists should obtain adequate permission before recording any images or voices from individuals with whom they are giving services. The confidential information that is obtained from the people is only useful for professional or scientific purposes allied to the concerned persons. Police psychologists are also counselors. They should offer counseling services to client who has various social problems such as family matters, unfitness for work and other issues. Like a counselor however, he is supposed to ensure confidentiality in all matters under concern for a particular person under the counseling service.

Conceptually, a police psychologist should have the professionalism for addressing critical incident debriefing. This should involve encounters that relate to urgent matters. In the debriefing process, he should be professionally tactful to avoid arousing discomfort, instability of the mind, stress, shock and social inadequacies to the person he is offering the service. Critical incidence debriefing should therefore be structured in a manner that is comfortable to the client and which should not destabilize the state of the client’s mental stability.

2. What elements in an assessment are required to ensure reliability in a pre-employment screening? How do these factors predict performance?

Evaluations by psychologists for pre-employment test for physical fitness have grown to be subject of extreme importance. This has been a concern that arises from police violations and misconduct from the civil rights. The pre-employment evaluations have been described as a tool for evaluating a police physical fitness in his/her duty. However, this growing demand for pre-employment and comprehensive psychological evaluation has stood in conflict with values about disability and privacy accommodating issues. Pre-employment evaluation has been argued as a cornerstone factor towards guiding the safety of the public. This is because only officers who are physically fit for the profession are the one offered with employment at the expense of those who show no substantial qualifications into their physical fitness.

Physical fitness for the police officers is a growing requirement from state of the modern police departments which are allied to various law and order provision that does not hesitate physically fit and able professionals. Elsewhere, since the selection, hiring and training process of the police officers is a highly costing exercise, it would rationally be uneconomical to incorporate officers who have no substantial qualification in to the profession.   When these officers have consecutive personal crisis that come along their way such as family and marital problems, depression and stress, divorce, memory lapses and accidents, their physical insufficiencies may have negative influences in their functionalities. They are paused with various risks and stress factors that often keep them astray from their work.

Officer’s physical fitness remains a mandatory factor in their service delivery. However, impaired officers have showed higher chances of identification while at demanding situations, have high probabilities of removal from their working positions and have more referrals for treatments. However, this evaluation should not violate the individual’s psychological requirement and perhaps violating their privacy. Therefore, some physical complications should be addressed in specific organizational development and management techniques. Various police agencies use contract and in-house services in conducting this fitness evaluation. In the process, they involve in psychology counseling in evaluating possible psychological stigma that may be held by the evaluation. It is therefore of great substance for evaluation of physical fitness in response to fitness for work.

3.  Ethical issues in fitness for duty evaluation.

The psychological test for fitness of work in the police department is a compliment of various ethical issues. At one level, every information whether collected through tapes or images should be done at the request of the individual in service. No forced sourcing of information for record purposes should be from forced attribute of the individual in the evaluation. Either, every information obtained from the evaluation process should be used solely for research work in an adequate area of concern or coined towards an issue related to the police professionalism. The collected information should not be for personal use by the evaluator. Either, it demands professionalism that personal information retrieved in the evaluation process of fitness for duty should be treated with a lot of confidentiality. No personal information should be retrieved, disclosed or magnified for any public use unless for the interest of the sake of professional good which includes the individual him/herself. (http://www.danielrybicki.com/wfstud3b.htm)

Inquiry for the evaluation should be guided by fundamental limitations of the requirement of the disclosures of the confidential information. The counselor/investigator should not be inquisitive of confidential information which is of no substance to the profession. The psychologist should ensure the most minimal levels of intrusion into privacy as possible. Oral and written reports should only include the information that is relative for the need for which the inquiry was constituted. In any external consultation with his/her colleagues the psychologist should ensure that the no disclosure of confidential information with which it can easily lead to client disclosure unless with a prior authority of this client.

The psychologist should take all the reasonable steps in minimizing and correcting misrepresentation or misuse of the professionalism. He/she should avoid any unfair discrimination that comes up against the respondents. He should not act in a manner of denying the respondent possible chance of promotion to the SWAT team. His/her mode of conduct of the evaluation should not have conflicted with the law and regulations. His evaluation process should be guided by the requirements of law and professionalism.

4. Lopez’s process of counseling bears various ethical concerns. It should concur with the provision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At one level, homosexuality should be understood as a social matter and not surgical. It is a situation which affects the social and psychological attitudes of Lopez. The feeling of homosexuality may mean aspects of depression and tress which is complimentary psychological attributes associated which her sexual situation. Generally, this psychological depression may be a factor towards the rationale for been physically unfit for the work.

However since homosexuality is among the many senses of disability, the provisions of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would require that she still continue in her capacity. One important factor/attribute that she should embrace is personal acceptance of her situation. Since this is not a surgical problem but social issue, unfitness for job would only occur due to the levels of depression and low self-esteem which comes as a result of low self evaluation. Personal acceptance would give her strength and therefore restore her fitness for work.


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