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Anthea Polous • 7 years ago

This really goes to show the Police Force need to bring in rigorous psychological testing to ensure the psychological suitability of Police recruits. For too long they have accepted psychologically unsuitable people into the Police Force endangering the community.

DC • 7 years ago

Are you serious? Your ignorance is an insult to all the men and women who join the Police to help their communities - honorable decent people of sound mind! What you fail to understand or acknowledge is that these people are exposed to the entire suite of human depravity, violence, sexual exploitation etc and also horrendous crime scenes that members of society could never fathom! Healthy recruits of sound mind go in and damage souls come out! When was the last time an officer suffering PTSD put the community in danger!

Ex Detective • 7 years ago

You've got no idea. As an ex-police officer and detective. I can tell you there is not one single person other then somebody who is possibly a sociopath that is able to deal with the psychology trauma police experience. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. Human beings are not designed to undergo this type of ongoing trauma. Eventually everybody will succumb, its a matter of time and the level of impairment they eventually end up with.

Ex • 7 years ago

Good luck finding anybody who is psychologically suitable. To do and see what Cops do will bring the bravest of brave and hardest of hard to their knees. I would be more worried about having people who it didn't affect policing our streets

anomander • 7 years ago

That is an over-simplified statement and quite frankly stupid, made by someone who has never had to deal with highly stressful, violent and dangerous situations day-in, day-out for years.

If you did, you'd know that stress affects different people in different ways - there is no psychological test or profile that will determine whether someone will cope with years and years of high-pressure situations, attendance at crime scenes, protracted investigations into deeply disturbing events. How each individual responds and deals with the situation is different and often impossible to foretell. If you know a way to determine this, please enlighten us.

I've seen the biggest and the toughest take it all to heart and crumble, conversely I've seen the softest show an astounding amount of resilience. What is needed instead is increased awareness and support - training in resilience and adequate funding / resourcing to ensure the long-term damage is minimised, rather than ignored.

It's not just once incident, it is the accumulation of many incidents, commonly over months or years and a lack of robust support mechanisms to help people cope. Within the job, most are seen as a liability and after being discharged are affectively abandoned and alone, with zero support at all.

To make matters worse, they are then placed under obvious surveillance by the life insurance companies, hell-bent on finding the smallest technicality upon which to deny their injury and their claim.

Mick Kuyken • 7 years ago

There is no way psychological testing of recruits will prevent the mental injuries that can be aquired from the variety of duties members have to deal with. Police are human beings, not automatons! It is a matter of how injured members are dealt with, or swept under the carpet, both by the insurer and police command.

The situation in Victoria seems to be a carbon copy of the situation in NSW. Legislation is written so as to raise the benchmark for a claim of mental injury, despite the fact that a mental injury (such ad PTSD) can be a lit more devastating tha a physical injury, and inevitably more long term.

These injured members ate usually experienced members with a lot of skills to offer the job. Why not harness these skills in a constructive manner that benefits the community, the force and the injured member, rather than forcing them out of the job as cannon fodder and having to train new members (at great expense).

Greg • 7 years ago

How would you know what psychological tests Police are submitted to? "Endangering the Community" they're the only people protecting it! Pretty hard to see the real world from behind a keyboard don't you think.

JC • 7 years ago

Wow, Anthea your comment just confirms what these suffering officers are up against. I myself spent 9 years with defence as a front line special forces soldier. We have a selection process which included numerous psyc assessments. Some of the best most mentally strong soldiers I know have been diagnosed with PTSD after what they have been through. Police officers are the first onto the scene and are expected to do tasks that most people would run away from. Unfortunately some situations haunt you for years. If you were to experience the aftermath of murder, domestic violence, motor vehicle accidents, informing next of kin of their dead I think you would well and truly realise your comments are beyond offensive!

Stu • 7 years ago

Anthea, how would you suggest the Cairns police officers that attended the scene where 8 children were murdered were tested to not have those scenes haunt them for the rest of their lives?

Just sayin' • 7 years ago

I agree, however dont you think that ptsd can affect people who appear to be psycholgically sound in the beginning? Im not sure that you could 100% predict who would be affected and to what degree.

Craig • 7 years ago

That comment just goes to show how little you know!! As I stand it does not matter how much testing is performed it is the everyday events within the job that incurr these psychological problems.... Not prior to starting the job!!!!

Alan • 7 years ago

Would be interesting to know the stats regarding PTSD and medical discharges concerning police oficers in other countries also.

StephenR • 7 years ago

Police suing for stress related illnesses is like teachers suing because students didn't listen to them and made them suffer similar stress related illnesses.
You know what your getting yourself into when you enter these jobs. As a police officer you know you will encounter traumatic experiences. No one forced you into this job. And now that you have no other job opportunities in life, you want taxpayers and insurance policy holders to pay for your poor career choice.
If you dont want to be a police officer move onto another occupation with NO compensation.

DC • 7 years ago

The individual police are the Policy Holders - it was garnished from their wages fortnightly!

Robby H • 7 years ago

I challenge you and any other person to walk in the shoes of a police officer for a day. I bet you wouldn't / couldn't stomach half of the stuff police would go through. Could you investigate a person for child pornography and BE REQUIRED to watch every single video and look at every single photo that is on someone's computer, whilst watching thinking this is a poor innocent child that, could quite easily be your child. Could you sit through hours of video and photos and not have this affect you?? If you could why don't you get the courage and apply, try make a difference?

I would imagine after time you may suffer some sort of PTSD. I know fellow colleagues that when the house phone rings their PTSD is triggered, associating phone calls with bad news.

Unless you have walked a mile in someone's shoes, I would be so quick to judge people suffering from PTSD.

I hope that when your family is in need of police and sometime they probably will I bet a police officer is there as quick as they can be dispite The effects of PTSD.

Ursula • 7 years ago

Anthea, it's not the recruitment processes that require the assessment. NOTHING can stop PTSD happening, unless you want a police force solely made up of sociopaths and psychopaths. IT IS THE ONGOING PSYCHOLOGICAL CARE that is the issue here. Society makes a huge financial investment in the recruitment and training of Police and of ADF members, then the organisations involved take better care of their fleet of vehicles and weapons than they do of their human resources! There's no humanity in the very organisations entrusted with the protection of humanity ...

Washed up Ex-Copper • 7 years ago

Anthea Polous you are a complete and utter goose. The most stable, mentally strong and outstanding person can crumble after years of the abuse and trauma experienced as a Police Officer. Whilst I agree with Prejoining psych evaluations etc. it is the ongoing management and welfare that really needs to be addressed. I challenge you to spend one day riding along the Thin Blue Line and can almost guarantee it will haunt you for life. Shame Anthea Polous, Shame

joey • 7 years ago

Well said !

Still waiting • 7 years ago

Pfft 2 and a half years on compo. Try waiting ten years with no payout or fortnightly payment despite insurance company accepting liability. While not ideal cops get it alot better than those with ptsd from other jobs

Coppa • 7 years ago

Income protection for police ... does this actually exist ???
Please name the company.

Troy • 7 years ago

My thoughts and good wishes go out to all of our Emergency Services personnel who everyday see the horrific results of car crashes, domestic violence, fires etc. The all need our support not comments like "they know what they were signing up for". PTSD is real - anyone who has had family serve in any conflict with the ADF knows this.

Mary • 7 years ago

Sad to say but I too have succumbed to the same treatment as stated above, it's called Vicarious Trauma, no preventive measures are implemented plunging one into a deeper cravas. I it's a not so nice place to be day after day while being attacked from all sides, I give thanks for my wife who has understood and supports me, however in regards to work I'm detached in order to survive and I like Sarah love what I do, I carnt begin to describe the emotion when an offender changers their behaviour DV and becomes the man women they always wanted to be. Sad to say there is NO support, you are on your own and constantly walk under accusations from all

Timydancer • 6 years ago

The problem doesn't lie in psychological testing.
The problem lies in upper management and their inability to support their workers. I honestly think that all personnel working in the emergency services need continual support and a safe environment to work through the trauma they witness. It is not the fault of the individual, it lies in the service itself.

Russ Hamilton • 7 years ago

While I do feel for this woman I do also understand the position of the insurance companies. When fraud is so rampant innocent ones will be hurt. What I do not see in this article is anything about some of the new treatments for PTSD such as Stellate Ganglion Block injections which can often cure it within days.

Vee Dubb • 7 years ago

Best advice i had was from Vietnam Veterans....talk....talk and more talk. You need to talk about what you have seen heard or done in the line of duty. Do not bottle it up or try to drink it away. PTSD is real and no one but the military or "000" workers would understand. Since meeting some Veterans in my area and hearing their stories it has certainly helped me and since then i have talked more to my wife about the things i had seen. If the Government and the "000" Industry would take it seriously the situation would be better.

ex firie • 7 years ago

In 1985 I had a complete breakdown,in Qld.and to this day have not received one cent in the way of compensation because the interviewing medical board said that ptsd did not exist.
To add insult to injury the insurance company representing the superanuation scheme sent a private detective to check me out,unbeknown to me at the time,he made false findings and was heard to brag about it ,which got back to me.
After my threat to go to tv about the low standard of the company,a cheque arrived with a nominal payment and a letter to say that the bulk of the money would be paid in 5 years if there was no recovery from the ilness.
I have not been able to work since 1985 .

Pb • 7 years ago

In Queensland we have a site called The New Centurions. It is forner and currentserving Police Officers only. Wenare there 24 hours for any former or current Police Officer that needs emtional and sometimes financial help. We have all been there and done the hard yards. To those who critise the emotional testing and comments. If you haven't worn the shoes you are not competent to comment. Those who hace worn the shoes, cops, former cops, Ambos and Firies have all worn the same shoes so are competent to comments. Maybe you can get former NSW coppers to start the like. Someone get off their bum and do it.