Law enforcement duties can expose officers to mentally painful and highly stressful situations that cannot be resolved through normal stress coping mechanisms. Unless adequately treated, these situations can cause disabling emotional and physical problems. Officer-involved shootings resulting in the death of or serious bodily injury to a citizen or a fellow officer may cause adverse reactions and behaviors in the officer. It is the responsibility of each law enforcement agency to provide officers with information on potential post-shooting trauma reactions and to guide and assist in their prevention.
Law enforcement agencies should develop policies and procedures to take action after officer-involved shooting incidents to safeguard the mental health of all officers.
These documents provide guidelines that should be uniformly applied following any officer-involved shooting incident, in order to minimize the chance that officers will suffer from the negative emotional and psychological reactions that can occur after the use of deadly force in an on- or off-duty confrontation. They are designed to address the needs of the officer who discharged his or her firearm.