When I pursued my undergraduate degree back in the 1980s, mental health and wellness were never discussed in the law enforcement community. So when I entered the corrections profession as a 21-year-old fresh out of college, I was largely ill-equipped to deal with the many pressing psychological and ethical issues that I encountered. Like many who work in law enforcement or corrections, I learned on-the-job survival instincts and developed coping skills (some healthy – some not so much). I quickly accepted that evil exists and, as criminal justice professionals, we must be equipped to face it every day we report to work.
Now as a criminal justice professor, I make sure that my students know that today’s offenders are masters of manipulation and deception. Officers must keep their minds sharp and be able to analyze situations quickly and effectively so that they—and their colleagues—return home safely.
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Michael Pittaro, In Public Safety, June 2, 2017