Police Psychologists as Consultants

Police psychologists are broadly and effectively utilized as internal and external consultants to law enforcement agencies of all sizes and jurisdictional scope in day-to-day and special operations. Consultation is a growing subspecialty in the field of police psychology, with specific guidelines created by the Police Psychological Services Section and approved by IACP in 2006. These guidelines hold consulting psychologists to the most current standards and compel them to keep abreast of current legal issues and rulings. An updated version of the guidelines will be presented to the IACP leadership for approval later this year.

The specialty areas of consultation by a police psychologist are diverse and include subjects covered by companion articles in this issue of Police Chief magazine. It is likely that most law enforcement agency executives are well aware of the role police psychologists play in establishing programs for—and—conducting preemployment and psychological fitness-for-duty evaluations; counseling; intervention; and postincident debriefings.