My ePortfolio


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Contains my personal statement, curriculum vitae (resume), reflection on learning, professional work samples from 7 areas, and my future learning goals.

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My ePortfolio

  1. 1. 1 Undergraduate Studies ePortfolio Kelsey B. Gillingham Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Criminal Justice, 2010
  2. 2. Personal Statement My name is Kelsey Gillingham and I may not be the typical graduate school applicant that you are used to hearing from. I am a 27-year old female, born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. Unlike many students who are fortunate enough to apply to graduate school, I have not made my journey in the most traditional route. My family could never afford to send me to college, so I worked hard to support myself and put myself through undergraduate school while working a strenuous full-time job. Upon completing my undergraduate studies at the end of October of 2010, I will have become the first person in my entire family to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and will have obtained my degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. All of my life, my parents told me that if I wanted something bad enough, I could obtain it through hard work and determination; despite the many limitations and obstacles that my life might present. As a result, I have grown into an extremely motivated and determined individual and once I set my mind to something, I will work hard to overcome any challenges that might prevent me from obtaining my goal. My determination may be best presented in my chosen education and career paths. Since a young child, I always knew I wanted to make a positive difference in the world and help people. Perhaps I was inspired by the people who helped me in my times of need. Starting at age 17, I put myself through a local community college and obtained my Associate’s of Arts degree in Psychology while working three jobs and volunteering for a local Hospice Organization as a Bereavement Volunteer. My goal was to become a Marriage and Family Therapist and to specialize in post-traumatic stress disorder. From there, I desired to continue my schooling in psychology within a Bachelor’s program; however I also needed to work full-time in order to support myself. In addition, my interests in psychology had since expanded from counseling to include the processes of criminal behavior. As a result, I chose Argosy University Online’s Bachelor of Art’s program in psychology with a minor in criminal justice to pursue my academic interests. After approximately one year of attending classes full-time online at Argosy University, I admit I grew somewhat bored of a solely academic approach to my interests in psychology and criminal behavior. I desired a more hands-on approach that would allow me to make a difference “in the now”, versus having to wait until I graduate from
  3. 3. Personal Statement Continued my studies. This eventually led to my application at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff Trainee. My determination to succeed and overcome multiple difficult challenges resulted in my graduation of the academy and completion of a stressful and equally rigorous 17-week long field training program within the agency. Upon becoming a full fledged Deputy Sheriff, I had overcome several personal, physical, mental, and emotional challenges that I never imagined I would ever be able to overcome. However, my inability to give-up, my determination to succeed, and my motivation to make a difference, had ultimately resulted in my overcoming of those challenges. The challenges of my chosen career have not stopped there; each and every day I learn something new and encounter numerous emotional, physical, and mental challenges that come with the duties of the job. After taking a two-year break from my education to achieve my career goals, I re-enrolled at Argosy University Online and have been attending classes full-time ever since. Completing a bachelor’s program on a full-time basis has also been extremely challenging while also working full-time (plus) and often during odd and lengthy hours. However, my desire and determination to complete my education and obtain my Bachelor’s degree is much greater then the hardships that may come with it. My experiences working and interacting in law enforcement have exposed me first-hand, to the negative psychological and emotional issues that the stressors of the job can have on law enforcement personnel. Law enforcement exposes police officer to many traumatic incidents and experiences that can often result in severe emotional and psychological problems, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This knowledge has inspired me to go on to achieve my master’s degree in forensic psychology so that I can better contribute to the psychological needs of law enforcement and emergency personnel. In addition, a career in forensic psychology will allow me to obtain the skills needed to critically evaluate individuals within law enforcement agencies, court systems, and the criminal justice system. My goal is to attend the University of Livermore’s Online Master of Art’s Degree program in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Investigation, so that I can effectively obtain the skills and knowledge I need to positively contribute to the psychological world of law enforcement and the criminal justice system.
  4. 4. Curriculum Vitae PERSONAL DETAILS Full name: Gillingham, Kelsey Boyd E-Mail: PROFILE My career within law enforcement as Deputy Sheriff has led me to gain ample experience and knowledge in criminal investigation, interview techniques, interpersonal communication and the criminal justice system as a whole. Within the course of my job related duties, I have had the opportunity to conduct in-field interviews with contacts, witnesses, victims, and suspects involved in a variety of mental health, violent, sexual, narcotic, gang, juvenile, and property related crimes. For several months, I have worked directly within the court rooms of the local Superior Court House as a bailiff. During that time I have had the opportunity to interact closely with inmates, judges, attorneys, and mental health representatives on a daily basis. In addition, I have become familiar with court processes regarding civil, criminal, and competency to stand trial related issues. My daily interaction with a variety of individuals from the community have allowed me the opportunity to develop excellent conflict resolution skills, strategic leadership skills, decision making skills, as well a compassionate and sympathetic understanding to a number of personal and traumatic situations. Additionally, my experiences within law enforcement have created a strong belief in personal discipline, motivation, and determination as a means of reaching goals, completing tasks, and solving problems in an effective, considerate, and successful manner.
  5. 5. Curriculum Vitae Cont. Skills Base - Familiarity with the criminal justice and judicial system - Knowledge of laws within the USA and specifically California - Experience in criminal investigation and interpersonal communication - Familiarity with competency to stand trial related issues - Strong leadership and decision making skills - Competency in conflict resolution and problem solving techniques - Capability to complete tasks in a timely and effective manner - Strong writing skills in a variety of formats - Ability to adapt to and work in new and complex environments - Languages: English and minimal Spanish - IT: Word, Windows Vista, Power Point, a variety of investigative computer skills - Sworn oath to protect and serve the community in a lawful and competent manner
  6. 6. Curriculum Vitae Cont. Deputy Sheriff at the Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office (Santa Cruz, California) August 2007 – Present Bailiff April 2010 - Present Bailiff Responsibilities: - Court room security for superior judges, court staff, citizens, and inmates - Maintaining order and peace within the court room and superior court house - Transportation and responsibility of inmates within the court room - Observation and responsibility of inmates within holding cells - Transportation of inmates to and from the County Jail and Superior Court - Daily direct contact, cooperation, and coordination with Superior judges and court staff - Security and observation of individuals entering and leaving superior court - Observation and knowledge of criminal and civil court proceedings - Writing crime reports - Crime scene and evidence collection when necessary - Interpersonal communication skills and interacting with the community - Ability to work independently, safely, and effectively in a variety of stressful, dangerous, and critical situations in a timely manner - Responding to security threats and taking the appropriate action to eliminate the threat
  7. 7. Curriculum Vitae Cont. Patrol Deputy February 2007 – April 2010 Patrol Responsibilities: - Protect and serve the community - Deter criminal activity and deviant behaviors - Respond to calls for service - Conduct routine patrol within the community - Respond to tactical and leadership scenarios - Conflict resolution and keeping the peace - Conducting criminal, traffic, civil, child welfare, and death investigations - First responder and first aid responsibilities when necessary - Conducing minimal crime scene investigation - Latent and evidence collection, packaging, and transportation - Evaluating if a person is a danger to themselves or others, or is gravely disabled - Placing 72-hour protective holds on individuals to receive mental evaluation - Community policing and problem oriented policing techniques - Strong knowledge and competency in California laws and judicial proceedings - Writing crime reports and search warrants - Testifying within the California Superior Court - Ability to work independently, safely, and effectively in a variety of stressful, dangerous, and critical situations in a timely manner - Responding effectively to safety issues and security threats
  8. 8. Curriculum Vitae Cont. Administrative Assistant; Advertising Production Coordinator; and Staff Writer for Good Times Newspaper and Entertainment Weekly 2004 – August 2006 Administrative Assistant Responsibilities: - Answering and making company related phone calls - Coordinating client-sales staff communication - Writing legal documents for newspaper publication - Customer service and conflict resolution skills - Interpersonal communication skills - Administrative and secretarial duties - Minor advertising sales - Advertisement design - Writing and typing various sales related documents - Complying with newspaper deadlines Advertising-Production Coordinator Responsibilities: - Coordinating communication between advertising and production department - Coordinating advertisements between advertising and production department - Minor advertisement sales - Advertisement design - Responsibility for advertisement scheduling, sales, and production - Writing legal documents for newspaper publication - Maintaining communication and deadlines within advertisement department - Writing and typing various sales related documents - Complying with newspaper deadlines
  9. 9. Curriculum Vitae Cont. Staff Writer Responsibilities: - Investigating local events within the community - Writing various newspaper entries for publication within the newspaper - Complying with newspaper deadlines Insurance Biller for Charles Savocca Acupuncture Company (Aptos, California) 2003 - 2004 Insurance Billing Responsibilities: - Maintaining and organizing client’s medical insurance information and status - Communication with various medical insurance agencies - Establishing legitimacy and benefits within client’s medical insurance - Accurately billing clients and insurance company for acupuncture services - Utilizing computer software to organize, type, and print billing information - Mailing medical bills to clients and medical insurance agencies - Ability to work independently in an effective and timely manner Customer Service/ Waitress for The Farm Bakery & Café (Aptos, California) Summer 2001 – Summer 2004 Customer Service Responsibilities: - General customer service and communication skills - Ability to work in a positive and effective manner - Receiving, counting, and returning appropriate money and change for goods - Minor supervisory skills and safely closing business - Maintaining quality and legitimacy of business
  10. 10. Curriculum Vitae Cont. EDUCATION Aptos High School (Aptos, California) 1997-2001 Graduated with High School Diploma in June of 2001 Cabrillo College (Full-time status) (Aptos, California) 2001-2004 Psychology and Human Services Double Major Obtained Associates of Arts in Psychology in June of 2004 Argosy University Online (Full-time status with a break as a result of attending Police Academy and working full time in law enforcement) 2005-2006 & January 2010-Present Psychology Major with a Minor in Criminal Justice Bachelor in Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice on October 27, 2010.
  11. 11. Curriculum Vitae Cont. PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS Job Related Training and Education: - Attended Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) Basic Police Academy – 6 months, attended 07-08 - Obtained Peace Office Standard Training (POST) Basic Certificate – February 12, 2008 - Attended 17 week agency Field Training Program with senior deputies - Attended several in-house training days and programs - Received specialized investigative training from senior deputies in various fields - Attended several POST certified training courses on local gangs and gang activity held by the Central Coast Gang Investigators Association and obtained POST certification in several gang related courses - Attended four day POST certified training course on interview and interrogation course held by Third Degree Communications and obtained POST certification in interview and interrogation training. Other Training & Education: - Completed comprehensive bereavement (grief support) training from the Hospice of Santa Cruz County Grief Support Program in 2003 - Previous certification as a bereavement (grief support) volunteer 2003-2005 - Volunteered from 2003-2005 as a bereavement volunteer where I counseled children and teenagers who had lost a loved one, and facilitated meetings in an individual, group, and school setting. - Studied abroad during the Summer of 2004 in Oaxaca, Mexico and attended a school to study Spanish, while living with a native family. Also explored the state of Puebla and Mexico City during my studies.
  12. 12. Curriculum Vitae Cont. PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS - Member of the Central Coast Gang Investigators Association (CCGIA) - Member of the Biker Investigator Association of Northern California (BIANCA) - Member of the International Academy of Investigative Psychology (IAIP) - Member of the American College of Forensic Examiners International (ACFEI) - Member of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) INTERESTS Professional Interests: - Issues in Forensic Psychology pertaining to criminal investigation, criminal behavior, profiling, competency to stand trial/fit for duty examinations and juvenile competency evaluations. - The etiology of crime - Interview, interrogation, and inter-personal communication techniques - Community oriented policing - Gang investigation; specifically involving outlaw motorcycle gangs and white supremacy gangs. - Violent crimes involving juvenile offenders - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and work related stressors within law enforcement and emergency personnel Personal Interests: - Exploring and researching my heritage – Traveled to Scotland in the summer of 2009 with my parents and explored various aspects of our Scottish heritage and ancestors. - Traveling; specifically internationally – I plan to travel to England and Ireland with my parents in the summer of 2011 (My English and Scotts-Irish heritage). - Learning the Spanish Language – Spanish is a common second language in the community that I live in. - Reading – Particularly mystery and crime fiction and nonfiction, as well as new research on psychology and criminal applications - Hiking and camping in the great outdoors – I love nature. - Playing acoustic guitar – Steel and classical
  13. 13. Reflection “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost My journey at Argosy University Online has been a challenging and motivating adventure towards obtaining my Bachelor of Art’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice. I started my adventure at Argosy University Online in 2007 and once I hit my half-way mark, decided I had to put school on hold while I furthered my career and attended a basic police academy. In January of 2010, I determined that I was at a place in my career that I could finally re-apply to Argosy and finish my Bachelor’s degree. For the past ten-months I have worked full-time (plus) as a Deputy Sheriff with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office, while also attending Argosy University as a full-time student. Working full-time and consecutively going to school full-time has been an extremely challenging road to take. However, my extreme motivation, determination and passion for succeeding and furthering my career and intellectual interests has helped me to take each step towards achieving my goal; to be the first in my family to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. Throughout my educational and professional career, my goal has always been to help people. From the experiences I’ve encountered within my life, I have been drawn to the foundations of psychology since a young age. Knowledge and experience in psychology and criminal justice will allow me to pursue a career that will ultimately allow me to help people to the best of my ability. No matter how difficult or challenging my experiences as a full-time student and peace officer have been, I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from the qualified staff at Argosy University Online and to further my education in psychology and criminal justice.
  14. 14. Table of Contents Professional Work Samples: - Cognitive Abilities: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy - Research Skills - Communication Skills: Oral and Written - Ethics and Diversity Awareness - Foundations of Psychology - Applied Psychology - Interpersonal Effectiveness
  15. 15. Critical Thinking A Case Study of the Boston Strangler: A look at Attachment Disorder, Antisocial Personality, and Psychopathic Personality in the life of Albert DeSalvo By Kelsey Gillingham; 1-28-10 From June 1962 to January 1964, a mysterious and dangerous sexual predator referred to as the ‘Boston Strangler,” preyed on the lives of 13 female victims; using strangulation, torture, rape, and molestation to kill them (Hiperaktiv, 2010). A moderately normal man by the name of Albert DeSalvo claimed to be the murderer responsible for sadistically taking the lives of these 13 women, as well as robbing and sexually assaulting nearly 300 other women (Hiperaktiv, 2010). Renowned former FBI profiler, John Douglas and former co-workers, Ann Burgess, Allen Burgess, and Robert Ressler (2006), classify DeSalvo as being a sexual sadist, or “one who has established an enduring pattern of sexual arousal in response to sadistic imagery.” Douglas, Burgess, Burgess, and Ressler (2006) further state that sexual gratification is obtained by the deviant by means of torture involving excessive mental and physical means.” After DeSalvo was examined by a psychiatrist, two things of importance were determined; 1) DeSalvo had an incredible photographic memory, and 2) he craved attention and recognition for the murders and wanted the notoriety attached with the Boston Strangler to be his own. (Douglas, Burgess, Burgess, and Ressler, 2006). Douglas and his co-workers concluded that two eye-witnesses could not identify DeSalvo but found his friend, George Nassar incredibly familiar (Douglas, Burgess, Burgess, and Ressler, 2006). Douglas and fellow FBI profiler, Mark Olshaker (1999) discuss their findings on DeSalvo while studying the backgrounds of violent offenders. DeSalvo had an early role-model that was “an alcoholic father who broke Albert’s mother’s fingers in anger. The man regularly beat him and his six brothers and sisters, and brought home prostitutes (Douglas and Olshaker, 1999).” Douglas and Olshaker (1999) also determined that DeSalvo and other violent criminals like him that underwent abusive, unstable, or deprived family situations, often developed a lack of self-worth and self-confidence but also had considerably high IQ levels.
  16. 16. Critical Thinking Cont. Levy and Orlans (2004) state that, “children with a history of severe attachment disorder develop aggressive, controlling, and conduct-disordered behaviors that contribute to the development of an antisocial personality.” Attachment disorder is often caused by abuse, neglect, multiple out-of-home placements, and other prolonged separations from the primary caregiver (Levy and Orlans, 2004). Three major assumptions of attachment disorder “distill to a biological system that, when operating, supports closeness in physical space between the child and the parent(s) and caretaker(s) to support survival and, in the Darwinian sense, of survival of the fittest, the most adaptable and skilled (Argosy University, 2010).” Levy and Orlans (2004) describe that children suffering from Attachment Disorder often become impulsive, rage-filled, violent, aggressive, extremely oppositional, and unable to give and receive love and affection, and lacking in conscience, remorse, and empathy for others. Levy and Orlans (2004) further note that, “disruption of attachment during the crucial first three years of life can lead to “affectionless psychopathy,” the inability to form meaningful emotional relationships, coupled with chronic anger, poor impulse control, and a lack of remorse (Bowlby, 1969). These disturbing psychosocial qualities have contributed to a more violent and “heartless” character to the crimes being committed by today’s youth.” Many of the symptoms and personality traits of an adult psychopathic and antisocial personality are displayed in severely attachment-disordered children (Levy and Orlans, 2004). Levy and Orlans (2004) further illustrate that Davis (1998) notes that serial killers seek control over others, lack a moral conscience, and display other typical symptoms similar to those of antisocial and psychopathic personalities, by the age of 12. DeSalvo also displayed symptoms of antisocial and psychopathic personality traits as a child and tortured animals at a young age (Cruelty to animals is one of the most disturbing manifestations of attachment disorder) (Levy and Orlans, 2004). Conklin (2010) defines Antisocial Personality Disorder as, “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood.” Conklin (2004) further outlines traits of Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is similar in likeness to psychopathy or sociopathy, as, deceitfulness, manipulation, failure to conform to social norms, aggressiveness, irritability, lack of empathy, disregard for self and others, cynicism, arrogance, glibness, and irresponsibility. The psychopathic personality describes a “person utterly without conscience and guilt and characterized by pretentious self-absorption,
  17. 17. Critical Thinking Cont. extreme intolerance to boredom, excitement-seeking, severely limited frustration tolerance, and quick temper and rage (Argosy University, 2010).” A psychopath is devoid of emotion and totally amoral, which is very similar to a person with Antisocial Personality Disorder and both possesses the likelihood that they may become a serial killer (Argosy University, 2010). Albert DeSalvo was exposed to abuse, neglect, prolonged out-of-home placement and separation from his primary care giver as a child and thus suffered from a severe form of Attachment Disorder. DeSalvo’s disruption of secure attachment to a primary caregiver during the early years of his life led to his development of “affectionless psychopathy” which later manifested itself into a severe case of antisocial personality disorder within his adolescence, where he demonstrated such signs as cruelty to animals (Levy and Orlans, 2004). As DeSalvo grew into adulthood, he had already long been exposed to the early exploitation of sex, abuse, neglect, and disregard for human life (Hiperaktiv, 2010). These symptoms of psychopathology progressed violently and rapidly and DeSalvo eventually developed into the sexual sadistic serial killer known as the Boston Strangler. It is clear that DeSalvo’s experiences and treatment as a child contributed to his development of psychopathy and thus led to the murders, torture, robbery, and molestation of hundreds of innocent women. References: Argosy University. (2010). The Antisocial Personality and the Psychopathic Personality. Module Three. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from Conklin, John. E. (2010). Criminology: Tenth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson- Prentice Hall. Douglas, J. E, Burgess, A. W, Burgess, A. G. and Ressler, R. K. (2006). Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System for Investigating and Classifying Violent Crimes (2nd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Douglas, J. and Olshaker, M. (1999). The Anatomy of Motive. New York, NY: Scribner-Mindhunters Inc. Hiperaktiv (2010). Modus Operandi – Serial Killers. Case File: Albert DeSalvo the Boston Strangler. Retrieved on January 28, 2010 from Levy, T. and Orlans, M. (2004, Winter). Attachment Disorder, Antisocial Personality, and Violence. Annals of American Psychotherapy, Winter 2004. Retrieved on January 26, 2010 from https://
  18. 18. Research Skills The Science of Crime Solving: The Use of Forensic Science is a Leading Contributor To Law Enforcement’s Ability to Solve Crimes By Kelsey B. Gillingham; August 21, 2010 Introduction The National Institute of Justice (1998) states that, “forensic science can be defined broadly as the application of scientific knowledge to the legal system, and includes disciplines such as serology, pathology, molecular biology, biometrics (fingerprint analysis, voice recognition and identification), trace evidence (hair, fiber, and paint identification) and weapons identification.” Forensic technology is further defined as the tools or methods used to apply the scientific knowledge of forensic science (National Institute of Justice, 1998). Ultimately a forensic lab can do nothing without the physical evidence gathered by police and evidence technicians; it is the fuel that runs a forensic laboratory (National Institute of Justice, 1998). Ramsland (2007) describes that forensic science; like other scientific applications, utilizes a rigorous procedure that includes the use of controlled conditions, reliable data collection, and the attempt to disprove hypotheses. A key component in forensic science is the application of forensic investigation; a process which utilizes observation of a crime scene as a whole and further identifies items in that context that should be carefully analyzed by forensic based tests (Ramsland, 2007). Forensic investigators (which include specially trained scientists and investigators, as well as street level law enforcement) are an important aspect of forensic science, for they are the ones that identify and collect evidence which is to be forensically analyzed. Coroners and forensic pathologists also play an important role in forensic science by identifying the cause and time death by analyzing forensic science applications and technology (Ramsland, 2007). The idea of forensic science has been recorded as far back as the 700s AD, when the “Chinese used fingerprints to establish identity of documents and clay sculpture, but without any formal classification system (UMBC, ND).” In the fourteenth century A.D. the first recorded use of expert testimony in criminal trials in Europe were recorded (Kurland, 2009). Additionally, in 1248 AD, the first recorded application of using medical knowledge to solve a crime was recorded in the Chinese book, Hsi Duan Yu (the washing away of wrongs), which contained a description of how to distinguish drowning from strangulation (UMBC, ND). Throughout history, forensic science has evolved to include scientifically based analyses of forensic evidence located within the context of a crime (Ramsland, 2007).
  19. 19. Research Skills Cont. The development and use of forensic science has made a significant difference in the world of crime solving. Discoveries in forensic applications throughout history have contributed to law enforcement’s ability to research and analyze biological, pathological, medical, and chemical evidences. The important discovery of forensic science applications such as DNA, latent fingerprints, firearm forensics, and trace and biological evidence have made a significant contribution to law enforcement’s ability to solve crimes. Such forensic applications as DNA evidence and latent finger prints have assisted law enforcement in using scientific based research and analysis to either link or exclude a person from a crime (Kurland, 2009). As a result, forensic science has helped to free many people wrongfully convicted or accused of a crime that was originally based on unreliable evidence. Equally as important; forensic science has greatly assisted law enforcement in identifying individuals that are involved in a crime and scientifically proving their involvement through the use of reliable applications in forensic technology. Arguments Supporting Forensic Science Developments in forensic science have increased law enforcement’s ability to solve crimes by linking a suspect to a crime. Discoveries in forensic science such as the discovery of latent finger prints, DNA, trace evidence, chemical and biological analysis and other medicinal and biological forms of evidence, have positively contributed to the world of crime solving by increasing law enforcement’s ability to prove or solve a crime based on scientific and factual evidence. In addition, forensic science has allowed, once unsolvable cases, to be resolved by increasing the ability to positively identify suspects, victims, and the deceased. The discovery of DNA and the subsequent use of DNA profiling, are thought to be of the most significant technological advancements in forensic science that have had the most profound impact on law enforcement and the solving of crimes (Kurland, 2009). In 1984, geneticist Alec Jeffreys discovered the ability to compare DNA patterns in family members in his attempt to prove hereditary diseases (Kurland, 2009). In 1987, Jeffreys first used his developments in DNA identification to assist the police in the village of Narborough to identify a serial rapist from the DNA identifiers in his semen (Kurland, 2009). Since 1987, scientists have continued to use discoveries in DNA identification to generate a DNA profile of an individual by using samples from blood, bone, hair, and other body tissues and products (U.S. Department of Energy, 2009). The FBI (2010) has also established the national CODIS Unit, which manages the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National DNA Index System (NDIS) and is responsible for developing, providing, and supporting the CODIS Program to federal, state, and local crime
  20. 20. Research Skills Cont. laboratories in the United States and selected international law enforcement crime laboratories to foster the exchange and comparison of forensic DNA evidence from violent crime investigations. This system is a computer software program that operates the nationwide databases of DNA profiles of convicted offenders, crime scene evidence that remains unsolved, and missing persons (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). This system allows law enforcement agencies across the nation to compare DNA profiles via the computer and further link serial crimes to each other and identify suspects by matching unsolved DNA profiles to that of convicted offenders on file (U.S. Department of Justice, 2010). According to the U.S. Department of Justice (2010), CODIS has helped to match thousands of DNA profiles to known convicted offenders and to link serial cases to one another. Another important discovery in forensic science that has contributed greatly to law enforcement’s ability to identify persons and link them to a crime is latent fingerprints. In Fingerprints were discovered throughout history, to be unique to each individual and that fingerprints are carried by each individual throughout their lifetime and remain unchanged from birth (Kurland, 2009). Thus, making them excellent sources of reliable identification. In 1878, Henry Faulds became the first to publicly suggest the use of fingerprints as a form of criminal investigation and in 1886 he attempted to convince the Scotland Yard to adopt the method (Beavan, 2001). In 1897, Faulds’ assistant, Azizul Haque, developed a comprehensive and practical system for classifying fingerprints which did not require the use of measurements, such as Faulds’ previous method did (Beavan, 2001). In 1901, Britain adopted Haque’s fingerprint classification system (rightfully coined the “Henry Classification System) and within a year, the system had solved its first crime; a burglary (Beavan, 2001). The conviction was based on fingerprint evidence; an evidence technique that was used for the first time in a British court room (Beavan, 2001). By 1904, the use fingerprint identification finally made its way to the United States and not until 1911, is fingerprint evidence used to convict a crime (murder) for the first time in a U.S. court room (Beavan, 2001). It is not until several years later in 1999, when the FBI installs a massive fingerprint computer that is capable of storing approximately 65 million people’s fingerprints, entitled the Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems or AFIS (Beavan, 2010; National Academy of Science, 2010). Today, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies continue to analyze and compare latent fingerprints, palm prints, and footprints by using high-quality scientific examinations in the area of friction ridge analysis (FBI, 2010). The use of such scientific latent analysis and the use of the nationwide fingerprint computer system, has contributed to the effectiveness that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have in solving and proving crimes.
  21. 21. Research Skills Cont. Developments in forensic science have increased law enforcement’s ability to accurately solve crimes. Applications in forensic science have helped to scientifically connect DNA evidence, latent finger prints, trace evidence, and other forms of biological and medicinal evidence to exclude an innocent person’s involvement in a crime and to increase the overall accuracy of solving and convicting crimes. Developments in DNA identification have allowed scientists the ability to compare DNA profiles of a suspect and the DNA found at the crime scene, in order to determine whether the suspect’s sample matches the evidence sample (U.S. Department of Energy, 2009). Ultimately, if the DNA profiles don’t match; the person did not contribute the DNA found at the crime scene (U.S. Department of Energy, 2009). In the example above, of the identification of the serial rapist using DNA identifiers found in semen, police had originally wrongly suspected a 17 year-old boy of the crime (Kurland, 2009). However, due to Jeffreys’ developments in DNA identification, he was able to scientifically determine that each woman had been raped by the same man, however the 17 year-old’s DNA was not a match to that found in the semen and he was determined not to be the suspect (Kurland, 2009). Due to scientific applications in DNA identification, a 17 year-old boy was not wrongfully accused or convicted of several horrific rapes and the first ever DNA test done in a criminal case resulted in the exoneration of an accused man (Kurland, 2009). In addition, the development of latent fingerprint evidence has also helped to positively identify and link a suspect who left prints at the scene of a crime, as well as proving that no evidence places a falsely accused individual at the scene of the crime. In 1879, Dr. Henry Faulds collected fingerprints from the scene of a burglary and compared them to that of a possible suspect that they police had located (Kurland, 2009). Faulds was able to determine that the accused individual was in fact innocent and later positively matched the located prints to that of a second suspected (Kurland, 2009). As early as 1879, the use of fingerprints has assisted in clearing a falsely accused man of a charge and identifying a positive suspect. Ultimately, the use of forensic science techniques has contributed to the accuracy of crime convictions and the overall success in solving crimes. Forensic science has increased law enforcement’s ability to determine the cause and time of death of a suspected victim of a crime. Developments in forensic medicines and forensic science have contributed to the forensic pathologists’ ability to determine the cause of death when someone dies suddenly, unexpectedly, or violently; as in the case of violent crimes or poisoning, suicides, and accidents (Kurland, 2009). Forensic pathologists’ and coroners have been conducting autopsies for decades; however they have not always had the scientific ability to determine the presence or absence of certain causes of death or the time of death. Ancient Egyptian Doctor, Imhotep is believed to
  22. 22. Research Skills Cont. have first practiced forensic medicine and wrote the earliest known documentation on the surgical treatment of traumatic injuries most likely acquired in combat (Kurland, 2009). Within his written work, Imhotep gave instructions on how to diagnose each cause of traumatic injury and how best to treat it or classified it as “an ailment not to be treated (Kurland, 2009).” In 1532, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V devised the Caroline Code of Criminal Law (Kurland, 2009). This document indicated that a medical doctor should be consulted in all deaths of a violent or unnatural nature; which included death by poisoning, wounding, hanging, drowning, murder, manslaughter, infanticide, abortion, and other deaths resulting from injury (Kurland, 2009). In 1823, Dr. Theodoric Romeyn Beck wrote Elements of Medical Jurisprudence which discussed questions involving various medical ailments such as rape and persons found dead, and would be used for the next half-century as the standard reference for forensic medicine (Kurland, 2009). By the 1890s, the duty of the office of the Coroner had made its way to the United States and had limited its investigation to the investigation of suspicious deaths (Kurland, 2009). By the 1960’s, it had become common practice to conduct autopsies on the bodies of those who died suspiciously, suddenly, unexpectedly, or from a violent crime. The concept of autopsy photographs were introduced in the 1960’s and helped to document the nature, size, depth, and severity of wounds, as well as the processes of the autopsy and the internal organs (Kurland, 2009). Autopsies at this time also incorporated the examination of the outer skin for wounds, the collection and analysis of samples from body tissue, body fluids, organs, and any food or urine left in the body (Kurland, 2009). Kurland (2009) notes that the analysis of the urine left in the body could be used to determine if any drugs that may have been ingested and the state of food digestion could help determine the time of death. In addition, the internal organs are removed, weighed, and inspected for physical signs of trauma and tissue samples are used to conduct toxicological testing (Kurland, 2009). The last part of the autopsy includes examining the head; the outer skin for wounds, the skull for fractures, the area around the eyes for pinpoint hemorrhages (petechiae can be a sign of strangulation or hanging), and the brain examined for abnormalities (Kurland, 2009). Each step within the autopsy process works toward identifying the cause and/or time of death. Kurland (2009) notes that, “many times it has been shown that the seemingly obvious cause of death is only a contributing factor and sometimes not the true cause at all.” Therefore, no matter what the cause of death may appear to conclude from the outside; it is the scientific and thorough forensic analysis of every aspect of the body, both externally and internally that will reveal even the most hidden cause of death.
  23. 23. Research Skills Cont. This type of thorough investigation and examination of a deceased body has been made capable by the development and perfection of such forensic science and medicine techniques as the autopsy, toxicology analysis, urine and food analysis, and appearance of petechiae. Today, coroner offices and law enforcement agencies are able to utilize such forensic science and medicine techniques to solve crimes by determining the cause of death, time of death, and size or strength of a possible suspect. In addition, DNA and trace evidence that is located on the body post-mortem can be used to help identify a possible suspect and other important facts within the investigation. These determinations aid investigators in locating murder weapons, crime scenes, a possible timeframe for the commission of the crime, as well as possible suspects; thus increasing law enforcement’s effectiveness and success in solving crimes. Arguments Against Forensic Science Forensic science is only as good as the people that are involved in it. Forensic evidence has the potential of being exposed to contamination, degradation, or human error; which can ultimately effect the legitimacy of a test result. There are many steps in which evidence is at risk for being exposed to a source that could potentially cause a forensic test result to become illegitimate. According to Sillup (2010), when collecting, handling, or processing evidence for forensic examination, “extreme care must be taken to prevent sample degradation, contamination, or cross-contamination between various samples.” From my own experience in law enforcement; I know that it is within the crime scene that evidence is most at risk for contamination. Maintaining preservation of evidence is highly dependent upon the responding officers, deputies, or agents on scene to control the possible contaminants that enter the crime scene. Often times the evidence collection process has the opportunity to be mishandled by law enforcement agency collecting it, transporting it, and handling it (Howard, 2010). Kurland (2009) notes that often times law enforcement agencies lack the proper training or experience to effectively collect and handle evidence. In addition, often times trained crime scene investigators are unavailable to respond to a crime scene and it is left to the not as highly trained or experienced street level officer to decide which aspects of the scene constitute items that have the potential of contributing important forensic evidence (Tilly & Ford, 1996).
  24. 24. Research Skills Cont. The collection and handling of such important forensic evidence is then left in the responsibility of the street level officer who lacks a high level of experience or training; which ultimately increases the potential for human-error (Howard, 2010). Ramsland (2007) notes, that the process of collecting of evidence requires one to be careful and precise. An officer that is not competent in the process has the potential of destroying or cross-contaminating sensitive forensic evidence. Tilly and Ford (1998) state that, “there is widespread lack of awareness within the police service about forensic science itself and what various tests can do, which inhibits the optimal usage of forensic science.” In addition, it ultimately left up to the judge within the court that lacks forensic training to determine whether or not forensic science results within a case have been sufficiently and effectively been collected, handled, stored, transported and analyzed and will be deemed admissible within trial proceedings (Kurland, 2009). Sillup (2010) notes that, “human error, bad laboratory practices, or even outright fraud can still lead to skewed results.” The risk for contamination, degradation, and human-error starts with the elements involved in the crime scene itself. It continues with first officer who handles and collects the evidence and from there, the risk continues to increase with each additional person who handles, transports, stores or processes the evidence and ends with the judge’s decision that the forensic test results are consistent and admissible. People are not perfect and make mistakes. Unfortunately however, any mistake made during the processes of collection, handling, storing, or analysis has the potential of creating an error in the results of any forensic test administered to the evidence. Evidence that is contaminated, degraded, or subjected to human error has the potential of resulting in a test result that convicts the wrong person, lets a guilty person walk free, or is unable to provide important information that could possibly lead to the solving of a crime (Kurland, 2009). As a result, forensic science results can often times be deceptive, inconclusive, and result in an inability to effectively solve a crime. The science of forensics within crime solving is held too high and the potential for inconsistencies and false answers from test results have the potential of essentially giving law enforcement wrong answers in which they ultimately trust. The danger of forensic science lies in the possibility of human-error and the criminal justice system’s belief that the process involved in forensic science is always consistent. The inability to analyze forensic evidence is a major contributor to law enforcement’s inability to effectively solve a crime. Many forensic evidence test results are costly, complicated, and can take a substantial amount of time to complete. In a world that is so dependent upon monetary values and in a time of economic hardships, many
  25. 25. Research Skills Cont. law enforcement agencies simply cannot afford to complete certain forensic analyses of evidence (Tilly & Ford, 1996). Tilly’s and Ford’s (1996) study discussing the flaws in forensic science and crime scene investigation in the United Kingdom, notes that many law enforcement agencies were found to not conduct forensic analyses that were crucial in proving a connection within a crime, because they were not cost effective. Tilly and Ford (1996) also explain that, many law enforcement agencies choose not to even collect certain forensic evidence from a crime scene, because they do not possess the financial capability of analyzing it. In addition, Kurland (2009) states that, “many forensic techniques are too painstaking and time consuming” and “require highly trained, dedicated technicians that are equipped with expensive tools.” Many law enforcement agencies also lack the ability to provide adequate training in collecting evidence and forensically analyzing it, either because of financial reasons or an available level of expertise within the agency (Tilly & Ford, 1996). In addition to being complicated to use and too costly, forensic science techniques take so long to complete that the efficient solving of many crimes is greatly jeopardized. Howard (2010) states that, “on CSI they get a DNA result back at the crime scene, but in reality you're lucky to get it back in a year.” According to study by Tilly and Ford (1996), within law enforcement agencies the general “absence of sustained research into ways of solving crimes and their costs means that questions about cost effectiveness, value for money etc. cannot be answered” and “any case current patterns of usage of forensic science could not reveal its investigative cost-benefit potential.” Law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system put so much weight on the analysis of forensic evidence; however they are cannot determine just how much good it really does contribute to solving crimes. Law enforcement is in most cases unable to pay for forensic tests to be done on evidence, which ultimately keeps the evidence from becoming legitimately analyzed and beneficial to the solving of crimes. When law enforcement van shell out the money to pay for forensic tests, when used in the field, they often times don’t know how to use them properly. Forensic science is too complicated, costly, and time consuming to have add any realistic contribution to law enforcement’s efficiency in solving crimes. Forensic science results are never 100% accurate or reliable. Sillup (2010) admits that no scientific test is perfect and forensic science is no exception to the rule. For an example; since identical twins have identical DNA, the use of DNA analysis cannot differentiate between the two blood samples (Sillup, 2010). Therefore, DNA analysis can never be 100% affective or reliable in determining that a specific person is linked to a crime if they have an identical
  26. 26. Research Skills Cont. twin. This presents a problem to law enforcement, because they will not be able to use DNA analysis as a means of proving one identical twin committed a criminal act and the other did not. This provides the opportunity for a mis- conviction; convicting the wrong person for a crime they did not commit and letting a guilty person walk free. Research has shown that, DNA testing has never been 100% accurate and there have been more than 50 false incriminations based on faulty testing (, 2010). In addition, Kurland (2009) explains that, the processing of fingerprints is not in fact a foolproof analysis. Despite the fact that fingerprints are unique to each individual, the patterns that they are composed of can be so intricate and variable that it is extremely difficult to recognize a match (, 2010). Even though computer technology contributes to the ease and efficiency of matching fingerprints, even the most experienced of forensic scientists admit that there is no completely foolproof statistical formula for matching fingerprints (, 2010). Another example of forensic science’s unreliability lies in the process of firearm ballistic analysis which derives from a ballistic theory that is not based on any strong statistical formula ( There is just no guarantee that they science behind forensic analysis is ever going to be 100% reliable or accurate. Where there are flaws in humans which result in human-errors, there are also flaws in scientific theory which result in false test results. A potential error in forensic analysis not only results in a false test result but also has the potential of resulting in wrongfully convicting a person of a crime or allowing a guilty person to escape from recognition and punishment for a crime. Forensic science has the potential to be flawed, just as any form of science does. It’s just too risky to bet people’s lives on a scientific theory that has the potential of producing a false result. Forensic science has the potential of contributing to law enforcement’s ineffectiveness. Conclusion Developments in forensic science have changed what is considered to be a reliable method of crime solving. With the developments made in forensic science, we no longer have to rely on inconsistent and incredible eyewitness testimonies or independent beliefs or opinions to verify a crime; we can rely on credible and factual forensic evidence as an investigative tool to solve a crime. The ability to analyze forensic evidence has allowed law enforcement to scientifically analyze evidence associated with a crime and crime scene, and further use that information to effectively solve crimes. Forensic science gives law enforcement the ability to use scientific based research and analysis to either link or exclude a person from a crime, as well as to identify the cause and time of death of a victim. Forensic science has increased law enforcement’s success in effectively and correctly identifying suspects.
  27. 27. Research Skills Cont. According to Cole (2010), forensic science applications and technology displayed on fictional and non- fictional CSI based television shows has increased the public’s awareness of the necessity of forensic technology in crime solving. In fact, Cole (2010) notes that an argument deemed the “tech-effect,” explains that, juries have reasonably adjusted their expectations slightly in response to real, not fictional advances in forensic technology. Forensic science has expanded beyond the lab and realm of law enforcement to include jurors and the criminal justice system as a whole. Thus, applications in forensic science are not only in important factor in law enforcement’s ability to solve crimes, but now have also begun to develop into a key factor in a jury’s and court’s decision to convict a person of a crime. Despite what minor arguments exist regarding the use of forensic science in law enforcement, applications in forensic science have significantly affected our lives by positively impacting law enforcement’s ability to effectively do their job and correctly solve crimes. Forensic science has helped to keep many violent criminals away from us and our families and has ultimately helped to make the world safer overall. Without the development of forensic science and technology, the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and the likelihood of our freedom to be wrongfully taken away, would be no better then it was in 700 A.D. when simply the belief that one committed a crime was enough to execute them. Forensic science has developed significantly throughout history and has helped to shape the effectiveness of law enforcement and the criminal justice system as a whole, into what we know it to be today. References Kurland, M. (2009). Irrefutable Evidence: Adventures in the History of Forensic Science. 1st Ed. Chicago, IL: Ivan R. Dee Publisher. Beavan, C. (2001). Fingerprints: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case that Launched Forensic Science. 1st Ed. New York, NY: Hyperion. Ramsland, K. (2007). Beating the Devil’s Game: A History of Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation. 1st. Ed. New York, NY: Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Cole, S. A. (2010). Forensic Identification Evidence: Utility without Infallibility. American Society of Criminology: Criminology & Public Policy. Volume 9, Issue 2, May 2010. 375-379.
  28. 28. Research Skills Cont. U.S. Department of Energy (2009). U.S. Department of Energy Offices of Science and Biological & Environmental. Human Genome Project: DNA Forensics. Retrieved from FBI (2010). Federal Bureau of Investigation – Laboratory Services. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Justice (2010). DNA Initiative. What is CODIS? Retrieved from National Academy of Sciences (2010). Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems. Retrieved from http:// Tilley, N. and Ford, A. (1996). Crime Detection and Prevention Series Paper 73: Forensic Science and Crime Investigation. Home Office Police Research Group; United Kingdom. Retrieved from Howard, M. (2010). All Criminal Justice Schools. Forensic Science Career Information: Interview with a Forensic Scientist. Retrieved from http:// National Institute of Justice (1998). National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center. The National Institute of Justice and Advances in Forensic Science and Technology. Retrieved from Sillup, A. (2010). A Brief History of Forensic Science's Blood and DNA Test Methods. Suite101. Retrieved from (2010). The American Academy of Forensic Sciences. The Forensic Science Degree Guide: 25 Surprising Facts about Forensic Science. Retrieved from UMBC (ND). University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Forensic Science Timeline. Retrieved from http://
  29. 29. Communication Skills The Role of Depression in Alcohol and Drug Use (Handout Created for Alcoholics with Depression. Complimentary to Powerpoint Presentation in Slideshare) By Kelsey B. Gillingham; April 19, 2010 Cold Hard Facts: - “In any given one-year period, 9.5% of the population, or about 18.8 million Americans suffer from a depressive illness (Russell, 2007).” - Over the last 15 years, the number of people seeking treatment for depression in the U.S. has doubled (Russell, 2007). - One in every five Americans are depressed or unhappy, and report high levels of stress, anxiety and sadness (Russell, 2007). - Evidence suggests that alcohol use often leads to the development of depression in men, whereas depression in women typically leads to alcohol use (Russell, 2007). - Drinking alcohol lowers your serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which are one of the major causes of depression (Russell, 2007). - “Stress, or drugs such as alcohol or cocaine, can activate a gene that is linked to depression and other mental problems (Russell, 2007).” Identifying Signs & Symptoms of Depression: - “Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation. - Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure. - Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month. - Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia). - Irritability or restlessness. Feeling agitated, restless, or on edge. Your tolerance level is low; everything and everyone gets on your nerves. - Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  30. 30. Communication Skills Cont. Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes. Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain. (Smith, Saisan, Segal, & Segal, 2009).” The Reality of It: - Depression and alcohol abuse often go hand in hand. - Alcohol is a depressant and people with depression should not drink alcohol (Russell, 2007). - When alcohol wears off, you are likely to be more depressed than ever (Russell, 2007). - Alcohol and drugs can lead to seizures, depression, manic-depressive episodes and a several other mental problems (Russell, 2007). - People who abuse alcohol are more likely to harm them self or commit suicide as a result of depression (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010). - “Hangovers can create a cycle of waking up feeling ill, anxious, jittery and guilty (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010).” - Alcohol abuse causes life to get depressing, which often results in arguments with family or friends, trouble at work, memory and sexual problems (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010). What’s Really Going On? Other Causes of Depression Include: - Loneliness - Lack of social support - Recent stressful life experiences - Family history of depression - Marital or relationship problems - Financial strain - Early childhood trauma or abuse - Unemployment or underemployment - Health problems or chronic pain
  31. 31. Communication Skills Cont. What You Can Do to Avoid It: - Learn to identify the stressful triggers in your life that may cause you to drink or use drugs. - Obtain counseling to address underlying issues that may be causing your desire to drink. - Make healthy life-style changes that incorporate life coping and stress relaxation skills - Sobriety - Utilize your support system and resources – family, friends, counselors, and other people in your life are there for you, even if when you think they’re not. - Remember, you are not alone. References: Argosy University (2010). Treating Dually Diagnosed Offenders. Module Seven. Retrieved on April 19, 2010 from Royal College of Psychiatrists (2010). Alcohol and Depression. Retrieved on April 19, 2010 from Russell, June (2007). What You Need to Know About Alcohol and Depression: Alcohol and Suicide Facts. Retrieved on April 19, 2010 from Smith, M., Saison, J., Segal, R. and Segal, J. (2009). Understanding Depression: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, and Help. Retrieved on April 19, 2010 from
  32. 32. Ethics & Diversity Crime and Poverty in Watsonville, California: A Look at the Correlation between Crime and Poverty Levels With a Focus on Gang Violence and Firearms By Kelsey B. Gillingham; 2-17-10 Introduction Although the small city of Watsonville, California is not among the highest rated cities of reported crime in America, it is important to consider the magnitude that the city’s population and economic state have on the commission of criminal acts, particularly involving gangs and firearms. On March 26, 2009, Paul Seave, Director of the California Governor’s Office of Gang and Youth Violence Policy stated that, "California is in the midst of a deadly and protracted epidemic fueled by gangs and guns. After losing more than 15,000 lives in 30 years, our communities must implement anti-violence strategies that work (Office of the Governor, 2009).” In response to these issues, California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger issued approximately $9.2 million in grants to combat gang violence in northern California. The City of Watsonville was included in this program and received a $400,000 grant as part Governor's initiative to bring additional resources that engage in job training, especially for youth who are in gangs or at risk of joining gangs (Office of the Governor, 2009). In regards to the initiative, Governor Schwarzenegger stated that, “public safety is my highest priority and these grants are an important part of our efforts to protect our communities by providing them with the resources they need to help reduce gang violence at the local level (Office of the Governor, 2009).” Gang Violence and the Use of Firearms during the Commission of Crimes According to Watsonville Police Department Chief, Manny Solano, 16.2 percent of Watsonville families are living below the poverty level (Hannula and Guild, 2010). In addition, the area of Watsonville has a 25 percent unemployment rate, which is the highest in Santa Cruz County (Hannula and Guild, 2010). Chief Solano addresses the important factor that this poverty and unemployment rate in Watsonville is a major factor in local gang violence (Hannula and Guild, 2010). Although violent crime rates in general are down 6 percent from 2008, Chief Solano
  33. 33. Ethics & Diversity Cont. states that, “violent, gang-motivated crime increased by 41 percent in 2009, which reflects increases in robberies, assaults and homicides (Hannula and Guild, 2010).” In addition, “21 percent of the violent crimes committed with a firearm are gang-related (Hannula and Guild, 2010).” Law enforcement are encountering youth as young as 13 years- old that are involved with these violent gangs and crimes (Hannula and Guild, 2010). Chief Solano further states that, thirty-four percent of the population of Watsonville is under 18 years old, nearly 13 percent of whom dropped out of school last year (Hannula and Guild, 2010).” Chief Solano reported a positive impact “of community groups such as Broad-Based Apprehension, Suppression, Treatment Alternatives (BASTA), the Watsonville Police Activities League and neighborhood watch programs that work with young people and their families and teach them to avoid gangs (Hannula and Guild, 2010).” According to a study done by The Disaster Center (2006), in 2005 Watsonville had a population of 47,465 people and a total of 237 severe violent crimes reported, which included murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The number of property crimes reported in the study was 2,043 (The Disaster Center, 2006). The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the nation wide level of violent crimes involving rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault as well as personal theft and the property crimes of household burglary, motor vehicle theft and property theft (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). The survey depicted that in 2008, 5% of these violent crimes were determined to be committed by an offender(s) that was a gang member (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). The survey further reported that, more male victims reported that the offender(s) was a gang member then females (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). Victims also reported that more offender(s) that were gang members were Hispanic versus Non-Hispanic (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). In addition to the involvement of gang members, the survey also looked at the involvement of weapons. During 20% of all incidents, the offender was armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as gun (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). 7% of violent crimes reported in 2008 involved the use of a firearm by the offender and firearms were most commonly used in 24% of all non-fatal violent crimes, 4% of violent crimes resulting in injury, and 1% resulting in gunshot wounds (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010). In addition, firearms were the most commonly used weapon in 40% of crimes involving armed offenders and were the most common weapon used in 24% of all robberies (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010).
  34. 34. Ethics & Diversity Cont. Poverty within the Population The U.S. Census Bureau’s (2008) American Community Survey Report of 2006-2008 reports that during this time frame the city of Watsonville had a population of 43,392 people. Among the population, 50.5% (21,906) were male, 49.5% (21,486) were female, and 78.1% (33,901) were Hispanic (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). Approximately 16.2% of all families, 11.1% of all married couples, and 18.4% of all people were reported to have an annual income level for the last 12-months that was below the poverty level (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). 33.4% of all families with a female householder (no male householder present) were below the poverty level and 40.2% of these families had children under the age of 18 years (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). An overall 25.2% of individuals under the poverty level were under the age of 18, 15.2% were above the age of 18 years, and 14.3% were between the ages of 18 and 64 years of age (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). Approximately 68.6% (21,150) of the population 16 years and older reported being employed in some way an 8.5% reported being unemployed (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The survey reported that out of a documented 9,393 families, the median income was $51,108 and the mean was $63,447 (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The median income for non-family households was $29, 919 and the mean was $39, 274 (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The median income for full-time employed individuals was $31,113 and the mean was $30,155 (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). The majority of workers were reported in farming and agricultural fields, as well as office and sales fields (The U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). It is apparent that a significant portion of the population living in Watsonville is unemployed and/or living with an annual income below the instated area related poverty level. It should be noted that poverty thresholds and guidelines are based on household size, age, and economic opportunity (Institute for Research on Poverty, 2009). Watsonville happens to be situated in the County of Santa Cruz which comprises of exceptionally high priced rent, property prices, gasoline prices, and community sales tax. In December of 2009, the cost of living index in Santa Cruz County was very high at 184.9, when the U.S. average is 100 (, 2010). The estimated average house or condo value in 2008 for Santa Cruz County was $742,272, whereas the California average was $467,000 (City-, 2010). In addition the average annual income in Santa Cruz in 2008 was reported as $63,227.
  35. 35. Ethics & Diversity Cont. Effects of Poverty on Crime The high cost of living and the average value of a home in comparison to the low average income for Santa Cruz County and the city of Watsonville make it easy to see why such members of the Watsonville population fall below the poverty level. These members of the population just do not make enough money annually to survive financially in Watsonville. Conklin (2010) discusses one influential theory of gangs by Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin’s (1960) entitled the differential opportunity theory. The theory emphasis cultural goals and the means people use to reach those goals (Conklin, 2010). Conklin (2010) explains that, “innovation in the form of crime occurs when people lack access to the legitimate means to reach culturally approved goals and turn to illegitimate means to achieve those goals.” The theory focuses on the discrepancy between what lower-class juveniles and adults want and what is available to them (Conklin, 2010). The cultural and societal expectation in Watsonville of owning expensive things and having a sufficient amount of money often times fuels the motive behind the commission of violent and non- violent crimes by offenders. When these offenders are unable to obtain certain expected and coveted items or money, they often turn to criminal acts such as robbery, burglary, or theft to achieve them. Unfortunately, often times these crimes can also lead to violence, the possession and use of firearms, and the involvement of gangs to ensure they are successful. Conklin (2010) states further states that, “their lack of access to legitimate means to reach cultural goals produces intense frustration, and they search for illegitimate means to achieve cultural goals.” Conclusion Gangs often times pose as the access to a “performance structure” for these individuals who must have support for their performance of delinquent behavior once they have acquired the values and skills to carry them out (Conklin, 2010). Further more, “the social structure of a community determines the access that lower-class youths will have to both learning and performance structures (Conklin, 2010).” Therefore, it is the social structure and poverty level within Watsonville that often times will lead to the violent and criminal behavior of offenders, as well as the likelihood that an offender will use the structure of a gang and/or firearm to achieve the goals they are unable to otherwise obtain. It important that not only the State of California pay consideration to the correlation between poverty and crimes involving gangs and firearms, but that the nation also be aware of this increasingly important issue and the likelihood for it to spread throughout neighboring areas within our country.
  36. 36. Ethics & Diversity Cont. References: Argosy University (2010). Economic Disparities; Social Glue; Culture of Poverty. Module Four. Retrieved February 7, 2010 from Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010). Gangs. Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from ty=tp&tid=36. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2010). Weapon Use by Offense Type. Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from (2010). Santa Cruz, California. Retrieved February 7, 2010 from California.html. Conklin, John. E. (2010). Criminology: Tenth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson- Prentice Hall. Hannula, T. and Guild, T. (2010). Register Pajaronian. 2010, January 14. Solano sworn in as police chief. Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from heading=0&page=72&story_id=8229. Institute for Research on Poverty (2009). What are Poverty Thresholds and Poverty Guidelines? Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from Office of the Governor, 2009. The California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Program. Gov. Schwarzenegger Announces $9.2 Million in Grants to Combat Gang Violence. Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from The Disaster Center (2006). Uniform Crime Reports and Index of Crime in Watsonville in the State of California enforced by Watsonville from 1985 to 2005. Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from U.S. Census Bureau (2008). American Community Survey. Retrieved on February 7, 2010 from qr_name=ACS_2007_3YR_G00_DP3YR2&-ds_name=&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false
  37. 37. Foundations of Psychology A Look at Durkheim’s Ideas of Anomic Suicide in Contrast to Modern Psychological Views By Kelsey B. Gillingham; February 10, 2010 Anomic Suicide Durkheim’s sociological view on the reasons and causes behind the commission of suicide are classified by four factors; Egoistic suicide, Altruistic suicide, Anomic suicide, and Fatalistic suicide (Gingrich, 1999). While all four classifications of suicide hold their own relevance, Anomic suicide is most relevant in regards to the breakdown of a society’s “social-glue;” or social norms, values, laws, and beliefs (Gingrich, 1999). Durkheim described that, “Anomic suicide is committed by people when society is in crisis or rapid change (University of Chicago, 2010).” As a result, customary norms may weaken or break down; leaving no clear standards of behavior to guide them (University of Chicago, 2010). This lack of social glue can cause many people to become confused, their usual goals lose meaning, and life seems aimless (University of Chicago, 2010). Gingrich (1999) describes Anomic suicide as being related to a low degree of regulation, or external constraint on people or when the collectivity of a society is temporarily incapable of exercising its authority over individuals. This is likely to occur during times of economic depression or over rapid economic expansion; thus causing new situations with few norms, the regulative effect of structures to weaken, and feelings of “rootlessness” by individuals (Gingrich, 1999). Once a person is freed from such constraints of a society, they become “slaves to their passions, and as a result, according to Durkheim’s view, commit a wide range of destructive acts, including killing themselves in greater numbers then they ordinarily would (Gingrich, 1999).” Gingrich (1999) also notes Durkheim’s findings of domestic anomie, where “suicides of family members may occur after the death of a husband or wife.” Durkheim’s study of Anomic suicide included his hypothesis that, “the suicide rate would vary by religion (Protestants, Catholics, Jews); by marital status (single people and married people); by military status (soldiers and civilians); and by economic conditions (boom, bust, or stability) (University of Chicago, 2010).” He further believed that social forces would affect the overall suicide rate (University of Chicago, 2010). Durkheim used statistical analysis of government records that included all of the above listed variables to conduct his study (University of Chicago, 2010).
  38. 38. Foundations in Psychology Cont. Durkheim concluded that suicide rates were highest among those with protestant religious beliefs, those who were single (non-married) people, soldiers who had achieved an officer rank, and was higher among times of “economic depression and economic booms than during more stable periods (University of Chicago, 2010).” Further more, “commitment shaken by rapid social change was likely to increase the chances of anomic suicide (University of Chicago, 2010).” Although Durkheim’s theory of Anomic suicide was not able to determine exactly which individuals were most likely to commit suicide, it was able to point out the social forces that were likely to increase a person's probability of committing suicide; which were rapid changes in a societal structure (University of Chicago, 2010). A Modern Psychological View Today, suicide is rated as “the 11th biggest killer of Americans and the third-leading killer of 15- to 24-year- olds (Springen, 2010). Springen, (2010), describes that within recent studies of suicide, researchers are finding that the motivation to die, as a result of depression or another mental disorder, is only one part of the problem. Mental illness alone is no longer considered the most likely reason for suicide. A person must be willing to carry out the act of suicide, an idea which depends on factors such as fearlessness, being able to tolerate pain, and to act impulsively (Springen, 2010). The latest research on why people commit suicide, “shows that fearlessness can be conditioned: people who gain experience with pain, whether from abuse by others or by their own hands, gradually improve their ability to tolerate discomfort; they also get used to the idea of harming themselves (Springen, 2010).” In addition, a person’s lack of impulse control may be fueled by societal factors, including the use of alcohol and other substances (Springen, 2010). In addition to a biological reason for suicide, Springen (2010) notes that societal factors are now playing a major role in suicide. For example, a person who has lost their job or house due to the current economic crisis may not automatically think to kill themselves. However if certain feelings such as hopelessness or humiliation exist in that person, as well as the “guts” to carry out the act, the combination of factors stemming from societal, biological, fearlessness, tolerance to pain, and impulsivity, may be the underlying factor in that person carrying out the commission of suicide (Springen, 2010).
  39. 39. Foundations in Psychology Cont. Incorporating Durkheim’s Theory of Anomic Suicide into Modern Theories The modern psychological view of suicide discussed by Springen (2010) incorporates modern factors of biology, fearlessness, pain tolerance, and lack of impulse control, while also implementing older concepts of sociological factors similar to Durkheim’s theory of Anomic suicide. This is an excellent example of how Anomic suicide can also be implemented into the modern ideas and concepts of our high-tech society. In addition, Durkheim’s theory of Anomic suicide could also be applied to the “dot-com” era and the feelings of anomie, alienation, and greed occurring within current time frame. For example, Cook (2006) discusses Australian doctor, Philip Nitschke and his manifesto, Killing Me Softly: Voluntary Euthanasia and the Road to the Peaceful Pill. Cook’s (2006) article on voluntary euthanasia considers that “many patients who want to die may not be judged to be clinically depressed and thus “could be perceived by clinicians to rationally choose suicide as a merciful conclusion to their life.” However, Cook (2006) states that many of these individuals are actually suffering from a form alienation called, “demoralisation,” a separate psychiatric state which covers hopelessness, helplessness, meaninglessness and existential distress, and often includes suicidal thoughts.” He explains that this demoralisation can be caused by “social isolation, declining physical health, disfigurement, disability, dependency, perceived loss of dignity and concern about being a burden to family (Cook, 2006).” This is only one of many examples of how Durkheim’s theory of Anomic suicide can be used to support and develop modern ideas within psychology and sociology. References Cook, M. (2006). Arena: The Australian Magazine of Left Political, Social and Cultural Commentary. December-January 2005-2006. In Nitschke's Hands. Retrieved on February 9, 2010 from Gingrich, P. (1999). University of Regina - Department of Sociology and Social Studies. Sociology 250. Social Facts and Suicide. Retrieved on February 9, 2010 from Springen, K. (2010, January-February). Daring to Die. Scientific American Mind, Pg. 40-42. University of Chicago (2010). Chicago Public Schools. University of Chicago Internet Project. Scientific Method and Emile Durkheim’s Study of Suicide. Retrieved on February 9, 2010 from
  40. 40. Applied Psychology With Duty Comes Hardship: The Effects of Job Related Stress on Law Enforcement Personnel By Kelsey B. Gillingham; October 16, 2010 Abstract This paper reviews research and various reports in literature concerning the job related stressors that law enforcement personnel encounter on a daily basis. It focuses primarily on specific physical, emotional, psychological and social problems that result from job related stressors encountered within law enforcement. It takes into consideration gender differences and methods in reducing stress that incorporate the inclusion of intimate relationship, counseling, and exercise. It explores current gaps in research and literature that address the specific job related stressor, which events or incidents are most likely to cause significant stress within an officer; as well as variations in culture, religion, and race. Job related stress can play a huge role not only in the individual officer’s life and well-being but also in the overall well-being of the community that the individual serves. This paper examines the ways in which job related stress negatively effects law enforcement personnel and why such factors are important. Introduction Today’s modern world is saturated with unfortunate and horrific acts of violence, terrorism, abuse, sexual assaults, child neglect, kidnapping, torture and tragic deaths. It is the awful truth that people in our world frequently kill, murder, torture, rape, molest, sodomize, shoot, stab, rob, burglarize, trick, deceive, neglect, and steal from each other; as a means of enjoyment, self fulfillment, greed, lust, ignorance and even necessity. Crime would take over our world completely if it were not for the efforts of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Law enforcement personnel (or peace officers) are persons who have attended a Peace Officer Standard Training (POST) certified basic academy and graduated successfully with their POST certificate. Peace officers can include Police Officers, Deputy Sheriffs, (California) Highway Patrol, state/federal Marshal, State Park Ranger, District Attorney Investigator, FBI Agent, ATF agent, Department of Justice agent, CIA agent, etc. Law enforcement plays the “enforcement” role of the
  41. 41. Applied Psychology Cont. criminal justice system and is responsible for minimizing the criminal and deviant acts within society. Unfortunately, in order to minimize the most horrible and negative aspects of our society (crime and deviancy), law enforcement personnel must subject themselves directly to these events; physically and emotionally. Page (2010) describes that, “policing is psychologically stressful work, filled with danger, high demands, human misery and exposure to death.” These job related stressors within law enforcement have a negative effect on officers and cause significant physical, emotional, social and psychological problems that can negatively impact their life and their ability to perform their job effectively. Not in the Fine Print In close comparison to the military; law enforcement is currently considered to be one of the most dangerous, stressful and health-threatening occupations (Tanigoshi, Kontos, and Remley Jr, 2008). In 1988, 78 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty and since then, hundreds of others been killed, exposed to a life threatening situation, witnessed traumatic events, or have had “near misses” in dangerous situations (Mann & Neece, 1990). Page (2010) describes that, “on any shift, police officers may be expected to shoot someone, be shot at, see a partner killed, use force to resist a physical attack, rescue a battered child, participate in a high-speed chase, and inform a parent that his or her child has been killed in a traffic accident.” Every person who signs up to be a peace officer is also signing up for a life-time of stress and negative psychological effects that occur as a result of being exposed to these traumatizing events day after day. Ramos (2010) notes that the nature of police work is inherently negative and the bulk of service calls are geared at taking care of others. Therefore, operating in an environment that frequently exposes officers to high levels of frustration and danger can often lead to physical, emotional and psychological wear (Ramos, 2010). Chopko and Schwartz (2009) state that, officers are “especially vulnerable to both direct and vicarious traumatic events, because they must not only confront illegal and sometimes violent behaviors but they must also assist other first responders (e.g., fire fighters and paramedics) when they are called to duty.”
  42. 42. Applied Psychology Cont. The reality is that police work is hard, painful, stressful, emotionally draining and traumatizing; and I speak form experience. Having been in law enforcement myself for not even three years, I have already been exposed to a large number of life threatening, physically and emotionally painful and traumatizing events that were a part of the duties of my job. The duties of law enforcement involve a responsibility by each officer to dive head first into the most troubling and painful realities of our communities. Unfortunately, what we see, feel, do and experience on the job can cause not only physical pain and stress but also emotional distress and a variety of unhealthy medical and psychological problems. Research has shown that gender and race can be an important variable in predicting an officer’s outcome post trauma exposure (Shaffer, 2010; Page, 2010). Although every person reacts differently to what they see or experience on the job and the duration and intensity of the reaction can also vary drastically from person to person; indeed, every person in law enforcement is negatively effected by the job related stressors in some way. The Job Takes a Toll on Officers Physical Effects Research has shown that the stressors related to law enforcement can lead to physical and psychosomatic conditions; such as ulcers and headaches, as well as negative psychological states such as burnout, depression, anger and frustration (Burke, 1998). Li-Ping Tang and Hammontree (1992) discuss that research has also shown a link between job related stress in officers and burnout, negative attitudes towards people, life, and work, as well as coronary heart disease, hypertension, and ulcers. Grenard (2007) discusses that in a recent study on the physical effects of stress in law enforcement, officers had higher than expected percentages of diabetes and heart disease. A long-term study of more then 400 officers conducted by the University of Buffalo revealed that officers over the age of 40 years have a higher 10 year risk of a coronary event than the average person and police as a group overall, have higher then average pulse rates and diastolic blood pressure (Page, 2010). The Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (or BCOPS) study has identified the significant role of Cortisol (also known as the “stress hormone”) in officers exposed to job related stressors (Page, 2010). BCOPS has concluded that dis-regulated levels of Cortisol within officers as a result of chronic stress can ultimately cause an officer to be more susceptible to contracting illnesses (Page, 2010). An officer’s body then becomes physiologically unbalanced, their organs are attacked and their immune system is severely compromised due to stress (Page, 2010). Li-Ping Tang and Hammontree (1992) conclude that, “police stress is significantly related to illness.”
  43. 43. Applied Psychology Cont. According to Grenard (2007), approximately 35% of officers that participated in a sleep study reported having sleep apnea which would make it more difficult to get to sleep, staying asleep and awakening well rested and clear headed; which is also a key component in being effective within the duties of their job. Working alone at night during the graveyard shift can be stressful for an officer and the graveyard schedule has the likelihood to cause physiological disruption of an officer’s circadian rhythms (Page, 2010). Page (2010) points out that being continuously awake at night during the graveyard shift when a person should be sleeping, can also have a profound effect on an officer’s judgment and decision making. Social Effects An officer can be negatively affected socially within their personal lives, relationships and at work. Research has shown that the stressors encountered within law enforcement can lead to a deteriorating work performance known as absenteeism (Burke, 1998). Li-Ping Tang and Hammontree (1992) report that approximately 70 percent of all work related absenteeism is linked to stress-related illnesses. Often times, officers may feel torn between their commitment to their professional duties and their responsibility and loyalty to their families (Shaffer, 2010). The negative emotional and psychological effects that officers encounter as a result from their experiences on the job also have the potential of effecting their families, friends and co-workers. For example, unstable feelings, emotional conflicts, and difficulty expressing emotional needs could even lead to an increase in family violence within an officer’s home life (Shaffer, 2010). Emotional Effects Traumatic and/or disturbing events that officers encounter within their daily duties can lead to significant levels of stress, as well as emotional difficulties within officers. Chopko and Schwartz (2009) discusses that first responders (such as law enforcement officers) to incidents involving “destruction to physical property, violence, or death commonly experience high levels of trauma-related stress, a circumstance that often results in associated emotional suffering and social problems.” Mann and Neece (1990) state that, many officers exposed to such job related stressors develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and similar stress-related problems. Additionally, officers may experience shock, disbelief, dread, anguish, anger and a pressing motivation to take action in response to the critical event (Shaffer, 2010).
  44. 44. Applied Psychology Cont. Psychological Effects Law enforcement has proven to have a variety of negative psychological effects on officers. Research has shown that the stressors encountered within law enforcement can lead to negative psychological states that include depression, anger, frustration and burnout (Burke, 1998). Ursano, Fullerton, and Norwood (1995) identified emergency care workers, children, heroes and the physically wounded as being at higher risk for developing psychiatric symptoms as a result of experiencing high levels of stress (Shaffer, 2010).” Additionally, a study of the psychological effects of stress in peace officers determined that emergency care workers, such as firefighters and police officers, are at higher risk for falling victim to psychological disorders and substandard work performance (Shaffer, 2010). Research has shown that, as a “result of such cognitive distortions, emergency care workers may also become self-destructive and predisposed to increased violence and antisocial behavior (Shaffer, 2010).” Chopko and Schwartz (2009) also estimate that 12-35% of police officers may meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD at any given point. Shaffer (2010) notes that, “cognitive symptoms may cause an officer to have difficulty recalling information, lack the ability to maintain focus and concentration, have reduced capacity for problem solving, and less effective communication skills; all of which are important components of being effective in law enforcement. If an officer’s work related stress is not managed properly, studies have shown that it can cause them to become prone to depression, alcoholism, anxiety disorders and burnout; all of which may increase their risk for committing suicide (Ramos, 2010). Differences in Gender & Race A study on the effects of job related stress in law enforcement and fire fighters determined that gender may in fact influence the development of an officer’s psychopathology after a traumatic event has occurred (Shaffer, 2010). Page (2010) describes that researchers within the BCOP study found that, “stress and burnout by officers is embedded in the gender structure and process of policing, and not simply a response to high stress.” Additionally, gender is a variable of importance in predicting an officer’s outcome after trauma exposure (Shaffer, 2010). The study also determined that women have twice the rate of PTSD that men have after witnessing or experiencing a critical incident and they are more vulnerable to developing it, because they perceive that their lives are more stressful than those of men (Shaffer, 2010). Although men are men are reported to be more likely then women to be exposed to
  45. 45. Applied Psychology Cont. trauma, woman are in fact reported to be 2.38-2.49 times more likely to develop lifetime PTSD than men after exposure to a similar trauma (Shaffer, 2010). In addition, Shaffer (2010) determined that women experience a higher rate of anxiety, depression and somatic complaints as a result to trauma exposure, whereas men are reported to have a higher incidence of alcohol and drug abuse as a result (Shaffer, 2010). There have also been job related physical differences between men and women. The long-term study of 400 officers by Buffalo University concluded that approximately 72 % of female officers and approximately 43% of male officers have high cholesterol levels (Page, 2010). The BCOP study also revealed that female officers working the day shift had an increased amount of suicidal thoughts, whereas men had increased suicidal thoughts during swing and graveyard shifts (Page, 2010). Overall, approximately 23% of male officers and 25% of female officers reported having twice as many suicidal thoughts on a daily basis then the average person (Page, 2010). There are also interesting differences in race when it comes to stress. During a study of the correlation between stress, race and gender, both white and African-American women were reported to have higher levels of stress than white men, however for unknown reasons; African-American men showed much lower levels of stress than white men (Page, 2010). Although African-American men appear to experience lower levels of stress overall, they do tend to exhibit higher levels of burn out then white men (Page, 2010). The Job Effects Officers in many Ways Personally Law enforcement duties can cause significant problems within the lives of officers that are varying in effect. Problems that an officer may have as a result of exposure to a critical incident or disaster in the line of duty can range from, “those that are transient and self-correcting to those that are "longer-term, incapacitating, and meet the criteria for a psychological or psychiatric disorder" (Shaffer, 2010). Additionally, Shaffer (2010) states that, “officers, may experience disapproving and unfounded thoughts about their performance in responding to the critical incident and may even entertain the irrational thought that they are somehow responsible for the incident or resulting destruction.” An officer’s inability to control a situation completely or save every person can have a lasting effect. In fact, research has shown that a person in an emergency response profession has a 16% to 22.2% chance of developing PTSD over the span of their career (Shaffer, 2010). Officers may be reluctant to experience or feel the heavy emotions that come
  46. 46. Applied Psychology Cont. as a result of witnessing a traumatic event and repressing those emotions may lead to depression, anxiety, frustration and isolation (Shaffer, 2010). Too many times the emotions, depression, guilt, shame, etc. that an officer may experience as a result of job related stressors can lead to a fatal ending. The FBI’s handbook by Ramos (2010) on police suicide states that, “tragically, too many times suicide becomes the way officers deal with the horrors they have witnessed in the daily performance of their duties, along with internal stressors from their departments and external problems in their personal lives.” Ramos (2010) explains that officers that also experience relationship problems, “coupled with alcohol abuse and the accessibility of a firearm, create a recipe for disaster among troubled officers who may view suicide as the only way out (Ramos, 2010). Professionally The health and mental and emotional state of law enforcement officers can effect the officer’s ability to do their job effectively, keep their partners safe, and the overall performance and liability of the specific agency. Police officers are at great risk for the development of posttrauma problems that can have an impact on their careers (Shaffer, 2010). Also disturbing is that the personal stress that officers may experience as a result of their duties, ultimately effects the safety of every one around them in their job. Shaffer (2010) appropriately describes that, “emotional conflicts and feelings of anger, hatred, and intense apprehension reduce emergency care workers' ability to respond effectively, even as they often put their personal safety in jeopardy and ignore personal risk while attempting to help victims (Shaffer, 2010).” Socially The health and mental and emotional states of law enforcement officers is a critical factor in the officer’s ability to carryout their job related functions within the community and can drastically effect the wellbeing of society as a whole. Job related stress can play a huge role in not only an officer’s life and well-being but also the overall well- being of the community that the individual serves.