A History of Police Psychology

A History of Police Psychology

Philip S. Trompetter (Stanislaus-Area Law Enforcement, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0813-7.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter briefly identifies important societal events and governmental responses that set the stage for the emergence of the specialty of police psychology, provides the names and departments of early practitioners (1963-1990) of police psychology, and explains how the current definition of police psychology was developed, with its four domains and 55 proficiencies. The maturation of the specialty is outlined from its recognition as an American Psychological Association (APA) proficiency, to the creation of an American Board of Police & Public Safety Psychology (ABPPSP) specialty board, and most recently to its recognition as an APA specialty.
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In The Beginning

While police officer selection was psychology’s first contribution to modern law enforcement, helping to maintain effective functioning of police professionals through clinical intervention, training, research, and organizational consulting emerged as other aspects of police and public safety psychology. These milieu-adapted practices of the specialty of police psychology have recent origins. In the early twentieth century, only a small number of mental health professionals were involved within the broader criminal justice system. These professionals engaged in activities such as criminal profiling, eyewitness memory and identification, hypnosis, and early attempts at selection to measure the aptitudes necessary to become a police officer, to name a few.

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