Stress and Crisis Management
You are the senior veteran partner of a special highway patrol unit that is working a major interstate that is a corridor for drug and gun smuggling. Your partner has the highest marks ever in the academy and has a great civilian education in criminology. He knows the laws and regulations by heart. He is a staunch family man who is faithful to his wife, and except for an occasional beer with the boy, does not abuse alcohol. He has an exemplary work record and is extremely reliable. As such, he is assigned as your partner in a very hazardous detail of drug and gun intervention.
The job requires the officers to make legitimate profiling assessments of potential smugglers and wait for them to make a motor vehicle violation so that they can be stopped. Once stopped, minimal interview techniques almost always lead to the discovery of contraband and a subsequent arrest.
The first 3 months on the job with your new partner have been great. The two of you have made 18 felony arrests for narcotics and gun possession. Six of the drug arrests were major weights of crack and heroin. Two of the gun arrests involved the seizure of numerous fully automatic weapons.
In the beginning 2 weeks of month 4, things start to get dicey. Three of the last 12 traffic stops have resulted in shootouts with the occupants of the cars stopped. While nobody was killed and only two people wounded (both of them suspects), the shooting appears to be taking its toll on the new officer.
When going to the car last week at the start of shift, an officer in an adjacent car slammed the trunk lid, causing a loud bang. As you turned toward your car, you found your partner on the ground trying to scoot under the vehicle. Four nights earlier, you were called to back up another unit that had a high-risk stop. Upon your arrival, you drew your weapon and ran up to the other unit, two officers who were wrestling with two suspects. After the suspects were handcuffed, you turned to find your partner crouching behind your unit shaking. When you tried to talk to him about it, he said he was starting to get the flu. The next night he called in sick.
The night following the sick night, while on patrol, you stopped a suspect vehicle, and the driver was a huge sawmill worker with 3 outstanding felony warrants for robbery and assault. The suspect attacked you, and you rolled around on the ground for a full 45 seconds trying to get the suspect handcuffed. After getting him under control you looked up to see your partner frantically screaming on the radio for back up about 30 feet away. He never came to your aid during the incident.
The unit commander suspects that there is a problem and asks you to write a fitness report on your new partner with recommendations for follow-up on the report you submit.
In a report to the unit commander of the special highway patrol unit, indicate the issues in the scenario that cause you concern about the new officer. You will identify how the symptoms displayed by the new officer are consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You will provide at least 2 recommendations for action concerning the new officer. You will provide the commander with options on what you think can be done to prevent this type of problem in the unit.
- Address the following in 2–3 pages:
- How important is it for partners to react appropriately in the field? Explain.
- What are the key symptoms that may be observed in the partners actions and reactions in the scenario? Explain.
- What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder on the part of the partner in the scenario? Explain.
- What are 2 specific actions that should be taken concerning the partner? Explain.
- Address the following in 2–3 pages:
- Select 2 personality disorders common to surviving victims of a life-threatening experience other than post-traumatic stress disorder.
- For each selected personality disorder, address the following questions: