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    Psychological Skills for the Police Professional

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    Knight to queen's bishop. Rook to queen's knight. As you probably know, these statements apply to the game of chess. Chess requires skill in order to play successfully. You need to know the rules of the game and understand how each piece moves. You need to think ahead in order to outwit your opponent. You need to know different strategies in order to capture your opponent's king. Anyone can learn the game of chess, but to be successful takes education, training, and practice. This is so with most skills—for example, if you want to be successful at any sport, you need to learn the rules, practice, learn special "moves," and, perhaps, get a coach to give you additional training. Occupational choices also require special skills. If you choose to be a physician in private practice, you need to study medicine as well as obtain the skills to build your practice, interact with people, and examine additional research that affects your area of practice.

    As with most professionals, the police professional requires a variety of skills to be successful. This week, you focus on the importance of psychological skills for police professionals, and you examine how the forensic psychology professional can help them acquire these skills. Additionally, you examine the challenges encountered by police professionals and consider situations that affect their behaviors—legally, ethically, and morally. Related to these challenges, you analyze strategies that the forensic psychology professional can use to assist police professionals in addressing difficult and potentially controversial situations.


    Analyze challenges related to training police professionals in psychological skills
    Analyze the importance of psychological skills for the police professional
    Analyze the impact of the forensic psychology professional on the effectiveness of police professionals
    Apply forensic psychology strategies to special challenges related to police work

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    Solution Preview

    Psychology in Policing

    Challenges in Police Practice

    Police officers are trained in a number of key skills from apprehending criminals, preventing conflict, stopping crime, dealing with various social, public and individual issues, and more - in a bid to keep peace and order in the communities they serve. According to Duluth's (n.d.) local government, police are tasked, "To ensure preservation of peace and public safety through the enforcement of local, state, and Federal laws, and by providing support and assistance during emergency or crisis situations." These key skills involve coming to understand the thinking, behavior and actions of people, especially those of a criminal. As such, they receive training in key psychological practices, including for example statement validity analysis (to determine claims) and determining behavior. One challenge, according to Yuille (1986) is the absence of communication skills essential to practice psychological methods among certain officer largely because police officers are not trained to specialize I one skill alone (i.e. psychological skills to determine human behavior and motivation). This is related thus to the other challenge - the requirement of mastering other skills - peacekeeping, emergency response, identification, apprehension and prosecution of criminals, community policing and patrol duties. These skills areas are essential in performing police duties and comprehensive mastering in all is not always possible. The other challenge training-wise has to do with resources and budgets. Often, training in psychological skills are not highly emphasised and limited to the budget of a police unit. Lastly, the fact that the practice of psychological skills is framed by the law and their duties mean that the application of psychological principles are limited by what the law allows which ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of psychology in police practice including challenges, skills and impact. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.