Forensic Psychology: Fitness for Duty Evaluation

The nature of fitness-for-duty evaluations is different from other psychological services in that they involve a mandatory referral to the psychologist and fitness Information Is communicated to the department Thus, specific issues of psychologist training and knowledge are crucial. Fitness for duty evaluation Police Psychologists play substantial roles In the employment and maintenance of law enforcement. A main role the psychologist plays is in the area of psychological assessment.
The Fitness for duty evaluation (FED) assesses and evaluates a police officer’s personality, psychology, intelligence, and overall fit for the line of work. This type of assessment Is also frequently conducted through pre-employment psychological screenings. This paper briefly addresses the pre;employment psychological screening. However, the primary focus is on the forensic psychologist’s role as it applies to the FED. Pre-employment psychological screenings are designed to Identify unsuitable police candidates.
Testing has become more complex over the years in order to detect Issues not easily identified In earlier standard testing. (Derrick & Chaplain, 2006). Several tests, such as the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory (IMP) and the Inlaid Personality Inventory (PUPIL have become more utilized for this purpose over the years . Research has established that these tests, particularly the PIP, tend to be successful In predicting negative indicators for aspects such as officer performance after training (Singing, Schumacher, Gardner, &Chaplin, 1995).

It has also been found that The Pl and IMP have also proven effective in detecting dishonest test answers. Importantly, it has been suggested the test detects Is best at Identifying unsophisticated deceivers while superior ones are more successful In cheating the tests (Forum &: stock, Tests such as the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R) is 993). Frequently used as a predict recruits that will perform well once on the job (Derrick & Callahan, 2006).
Other research (Derrick & Callahan, 2006) suggests that the NEO PI-R Is able to foresee which recruits will perform well as officers. Some experts also believe that the NEO PI-R may be utilized in recognizing weaknesses in cleared emcee candidates Ana teen strengthening tense areas. Thanes-Tort-AU evaluations (Fades) are often in response to an officer’s display of some form of questionable behavior. These behaviors may include aspects such as stress, excessive force, substance abuse, psychological disorders, depression, or family problems.
The evaluation is conducted in order to determine several key factors. These include the decision as to if the officer should continue at present duty level, if treatment or intervention is needed, or if Job task modifications are necessary. The assessment typically comprises a review of the officer’s records. Aspects of the record such as awards, commendations, and reprimands are measured. Additionally, individual sessions with the officer are often conducted. Interviews with family are often conducted as well.
Lastly, a medical examination is frequently recommended to establish or rule out other issues affecting the officer (Bartok & Bartok, 2008) In addition to use for recruitment, Psychological tests such as The Operational Police Stress Questionnaire (Soup) and the Organizational Police Stress Questionnaire (SQ-Org) are frequently utilized to in both recruitment and to measure stress levels in active duty officers. (Macrame & Thompson, 2006). Duty-related stress is measured by the SQ-Pop and the SQ. Org measures stress that is caused from the actual law enforcement organization.
The tests were designed in this way due to data that has established that these two groups are the main stress generating areas for officers. The role of the forensic psychologist as it pertains to FED is of interest to this student for several reasons. First of all, research has established that psychological services play a vital role throughout law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officials have begun to recognize and acknowledge the need for psychological services designed to deal with the unique culture among police officers. Another reason of interest is the value in psychological testing.
Psychological tests can be used to assist in recruit selection as well as stress testing for current officers. Furthermore, the creation of additional and improved tools as a result of developing research and development for the purpose of improving law enforcement organizations is exciting. “Psychologists provide services, teach, and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study, or professional experience” (PAP, 2002, p. 1063; Standard 2. AAA Boundaries of Competence).

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