Essay about Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement

Essay about Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement

Length: 1038 words (3 double-spaced pages)

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Gilmartin begins by describing the typical rookie officer. Most are energetic, idealistic, enthusiastic and very driven. Quickly this enthusiasm can change from one of positivity to one that is very cynical and emotionally charged. These behaviors and thoughts over time if not corrected become exacerbated leading to noticeable mental and physical changes. The author, Gilmartin, uses personal experiences and other real life stories effectively so that many officers can relate and identify with the topic of the book.
Gilmartin also discusses and describes the psychological impact the officers suffer from being exposed to frequent tramatic events. Being enthralled in violent events and the victims of crimes would have an impact on anyone. The officers themselves can start to see themselves as victim. The most important psychological experience that Gilmartin describes is Hypervigilance. This can be experienced by officers on or off duty. Hypervigilance by definition means “the necessary manner of viewing the world from a threat-based perspective, having the mindset to see events unfolding as potentially hazardous.” (Gilmartin Pg. 35) According to Gilmartin this- “permits the on-duty officer to develop a subjective state of increased alertness/awareness of his/her surroundings required for maximum officer safety.” (Gilmartin Pg. 36) Gilmartin elaborates on his term of “Hypervigilance” and how it becomes problematic. When he introduces the concept theory of the “Hypervigilant Biological Rollercoaster.” Stating that the on-duty officer is “alert, alive, energetic, quick–thinking, involved and humorous,” And the off-duty officer is “tired, isolated, detached, apathetic and angry.” (Gilmartin Pgs. 48-50)
Gilmartin emphasizes that if law ...


... middle of paper ...


... some addition information in this book it does not lack in quality or clarity of its messages. It is a strong book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in law enforcement, anyone currently in law enforcement, family members of law enforcement personnel and those who have been in law enforcement.
I believe the goal of this book is to provide officers the information of how to recognize the deterioration of core values (personally and professionally) and what can take place in their lives if gone uncorrected. The book then ultimately provides specific strategies that can be utilized to reduce the negative emotional and physical impact of a law enforcement career. I believe the book succeeds in doing this.







Bibliography
Gilmartin, K. M. Emotional survival for law enforcement, a guide for officers and their families. 1st ed. Arizona: E-S Press, 2002.

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