Police psychology

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Police psychology is a subfield of forensic psychology addressing issues specific to police personnel and other public safety workers.

Police psychologists[edit]

Police psychologists [1] have many roles in the police force. They conduct pre-employment screenings for police and public safety personnel. The police psychologist will also conduct fitness for duty evaluations for police officers who have evidence against them indicating the police officer is unable to safely perform their tasks of a person in law enforcement. The police psychologist will train police officers how to work in crisis situations like hostage negotiation teams/hostage barricade team. The police psychologist will teach the police officer crime prevention techniques. The police psychologist also provides clinical counseling to police officers and their families. Police psychologists help police officers deal with trauma and stress through clinical counseling. Counseling programs include resilience, life skills building and peer counseling.


There are several police and law enforcement agencies in the world today that employ police and law enforcement psychologists and these are:

  1. The Los Angeles Police Department - At the Behavioral Science Services
  2. The Federal Bureau of Investigation - At the Behavioral Analysis Unit
  3. U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations - A military investigative agency
  4. The National Police Improvement Agency (UK) - Behavioural Investigative Advisors (BIA)
  5. The Hong Kong Police - Hong Kong Police Force - Psychological Services Group
  6. The Japanese Police - Japanese Nation Policy Agency - National Research Institute of Police Science at the Criminology and Behavioral Sciences Section
  7. Singapore Police Force - Police Psychological Services Division (PPSD), Police Headquarters.[2]
  8. Behavioural Sciences Unit, Singapore, at the Home Team Academy.[3]
  9. Western Australia Police Academy - Occupational Psychology Unit.

Professional organizations[edit]

  1. Society of Police and Criminal Psychology[4]
  2. International Association of Chiefs of Police.[5]
  3. University of Liverpool — School of Psychology[6]
  4. Consortium of Police Psychological Services (COPPS)

Investigative psychology[edit]

Investigative psychology is a sub-speciality within police or law enforcement psychology that has gained its own following.[7] This field was started in 2011 by Professor David Canter and Dr. Antony Brooks in Liverpool (U.K.) and it brings together issues relating to investigative information, the drawing of inferences and the ways in which law enforcement decision-making can be supported through scientific research. Investigative psychology grew directly out of empirical research. This field covers the full range of investigation related activities such as :

  1. detection of deception,
  2. investigative interviewing,
  3. statement analyses
  4. behavioral analyses of crimes.

This sphere has been much abused worldwide with the spread of the use of originally Eastern methods, including gradual copying of the type of methods once associated to some areas of Asia, what characterizes the latter is the contacting of the suspect via mental means, "thinking to" techniques known already in Eastern Europe followed by repetition of the alleged offence continually mentally to make it start repeating itself in the mind and even begin to affect speech. Thus these type of investigations and any based on them, being most legally conducted in their areas of origin are highly dubious.


  1. Leicester University (UK). Masters of Science in Forensic Psychology.[8]
  2. Portsmouth University (UK). Masters of Science in Forensic Psychology.
  3. University of Liverpool (UK). Masters in Investigative and Forensic Psychology.[9]
  4. Griffith University (Aus). Masters of Science in Forensic Psychology.[10]
  5. University of South Australia (Aus). Master of Forensic Psychology.
  6. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) (not a course itself — but a module). The Forensic Psychology of Crime, Terrorism and Disasters[11]
  7. National University of Singapore. Correctional Psychology (Singapore)
  8. University of Indonesia (Professor Sarlitos Wirawan Sarwono)[12]
  9. Hong Kong University (while it doesn't specialise in police psychology, its faculty includes police psychologists.[13]
  10. Bond University[14]

Police Psychology Blogs[edit]

  1. Dr. Gary S. Aumiller's "Inside Police Psychology" http://policepsychologyblog.com/
  2. Dr. Laurence Miller: http://www.policeone.com/columnists/laurence-miller/