The mental stability of an officer can be extremely important when it comes to a court trial. If the police officer ends up having psychological problems such as severe anxiety, depression, or another mental disorder then it can change the outcome of one’s trial. If a court proceeding determines that an officer suffers from these issues the officer will probably be put on paid administrative leave until their disorder is under control and this can be extremely beneficial for the rest of society.

Why the mental health of a police officer is so important

It is obvious that individuals who are in better mental health are able to make decisions more clearly. Police officers have one of the most dangerous jobs possible and with the crime rate being pretty high in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana; officers need to be ready for danger at a moment’s notice.

Police officers also need to be able to deal with large amounts of stress at a time. They can often find themselves in situations where their suspect may or may not be armed and other individuals nearby may be in danger as well. On average, 115 police officers are hurt fatally every year. It is clear that an officer needs to be made of very thick skin and be able to handle these tough situations by making quick decisions.

Police officers are often subject to scenarios which are:

  • Subject to quick thinking
  • Highly stressful
  • Potentially dangerous
  • Life-threatening
  • Exhausting

Being in the above-mentioned scenarios and having a lot of authority tied to a person’s name at the same time usually does not work very well together and that’s exactly how police officers have to function on a daily basis. The authority that an officer has may make them feel like they can justify any action and this may lead them to overreact and using excessive force even when they don’t have to.

Because of the extreme amount of stress they face while on the job, every officer is generally screened for psychological illnesses and tested to see if their character is a good fit for the job. Unfortunately, this testing is not 100% accurate so officers who have mental illnesses but are good at covering them up may still make it into the force. The American Psychological Association (APA) is currently in the process of deciding what exact psychological assessments an officer should be screened with before they are recruited onto the force.

In the case that a person has been assaulted by an officer-mentally stable or not- A police brutality attorney in Ouachita, Parish can guide them on what steps they should take in order to help win their case. If the police officer claims to have mental health issues a lawyer can help a person prepare a case which may still earn them some form of compensation or have the officer penalized at best.