Under Siege: The Psychological Impact on Law Enforcement in These Troubled Times

August 19, 2021
3:00pm - 4:15pm

The job of a law enforcement officer has always been challenging.  There has always been a psychological price to pay for those who serve. Those statements can be supported by the long-standing prevalence of substance abuse, divorce and suicide within the profession. However, recent social, cultural and political climates have had an impact upon law enforcement officers that is unprecedented.

This presentation will examine the psychological impact that recent events have had upon law enforcement officers in the United States.  As a result of that impact, the profession is experiencing a workforce crisis.  Based upon his work with officers and agencies across the U.S., the presenter will provide the latest statistics and examples of specific psychological threats to the individual and the profession. Suggestions that can enhance the resilience and increase the retention of law enforcement officers will be provided.

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Dr. Grant McDougall is a licensed mental health counselor and a national board-certified counselor.  He owns Southeastern Counseling and Consultation in Gainesville, Florida; a private organization that specializes in serving first responders and law enforcement agencies.

He is a current board member of the National Sheriff’s Association’s Psychological Section and the provider of psychological services for numerous law enforcement agencies within Florida.

Dr. McDougall is a former faculty member at the University of Florida, an Expert Witness for the State of Florida Department of Health and a member of the Examining Committee for the State of Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit.

He is a recognized speaker national and international conferences and has provided on-site training at local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.  He has been an instructor at law enforcement academies and worked directly with specialized units such as hostage negotiations and tactical response teams.

Dr. McDougall regularly provides in-service training for sworn officers, pre-employment screenings, critical incident debriefings, fitness-for-duty evaluations, and private counseling services.  He also serves as an on-scene advisor during critical incidents and works with officers and administrators in the aftermath of tragedies.