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Over the past four decades, a rapidly growing specialty area of psychology has been that of psychologists working within the realm of law enforcement. Police psychologists are involved in the selection of employees; fitness-for-duty evaluations; various therapeutic programs, both individual and group; the evaluation, treatment, and referral of substance abuse, domestic violence, and gambling; the development and facilitation of various training initiatives; and research and consultation. On a more operational level, police psychologists respond to crisis situations including officer-involved shootings, significant traumatic events, suicide interventions, and crisis and hostage negotiations.

A functional dichotomy within police psychology is that of actual primary roles for the psychologist. Major metropolitan police departments will most likely employ multiple staff police psychologists. Generally speaking, the in-house staff psychologist is involved in ...

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