Acute Dissociative Responses in Law Enforcement Officers Involved in Critical Shooting Incidents: The Clinical and Forensic Implications

    Volume 47, Issue 5 (September 2002)

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    CODEN: JFSOAD

    Published Online: 1 September 2002

    Page Count: 8


    Martell, D
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, New-port Beach, CA

    Rivard, JM
    Private practice in forensic psychiatry, San Luis Obispo, CA

    Widawski, M
    UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Biostatistics,

    Dietz, P
    Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA School of Medicine, Newport Beach, CA

    (Received 6 March 2002; accepted 10 January 2002)

    Abstract

    The authors examine the prevalence of acute traumatic dissociative responses in a group of 115 law enforcement officers involved in critical incidents. Law enforcement officers were retrospectively surveyed for the presence of dissociative symptoms at the time of the critical in-cident, as well as for the presence of acute stress symptoms and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Results show that 90% of the officers reported ex-periencing a dissociative response during the critical incident. Thirty percent meet the Dissociative Criterion B of acute stress disorder under the DSM-IV. The mean number of dissociative symptoms in this group was two and one-half. In addition, 19% of the law enforcement officers reported varying forms of memory impairment for details of the incident. There were no reports of amnesia for the entire event. The clinical, forensic, and legal implications of these preliminary findings are discussed in this paper.


    Paper ID: JFS15504J

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS15504J

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    Title Acute Dissociative Responses in Law Enforcement Officers Involved in Critical Shooting Incidents: The Clinical and Forensic Implications
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30