Examining the Role of Police Compassion Fatigue and Negative Personality Traits in Impeding the Promotion of Police Compassion Satisfaction: A Brief Report

  • Konstantinos Papazoglou
  • Mari Koskelainen
  • Brooke McQuerrey Tuttle
  • Marian Pitel

Abstract

Police officers respond to a plethora of calls, to include critical incidents. Research shows police officers are more resilient when compared to civilians, but exposure to critical incidents may lead to traumatic stress reactivity, which can increase the risk for negative mental health outcomes among police officers. Years of law enforcement experience, negative personality traits, and compassion fatigue on compassion satisfaction were examined regarding the influence each had on a sample of police officers from Finland. Study results appeared consistent with prior research that explored compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among service-oriented professionals (e.g., nurses, emergency room medical doctors, crisis clinicians). Implications of the key findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided. Keywords: compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, law enforcement, negative personality traits, trauma

Author Biographies

Konstantinos Papazoglou
Dr. Konstantinos Papazoglou has recently completed his doctoral degree (PhD) in psychology (clinical - forensic area) as Vanier Scholar at the University of Toronto. He is a former Police Major of the Hellenic Police Force and European Police College and holds a master’s degree in applied psychology from New York University (NYU) as Onassis Scholar. His research focuses on stress, trauma prevention, and resilience promotion among police officers. In terms of clinical work, Konstantinos currently works as a clinical and forensic psychologist (supervised practice) with the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Ontario Correctional Institute where he conducts assessments and treatment to criminal justice offenders.
Mari Koskelainen
Dr. Mari Koskelainen is a Lecturer at the Police University College on Finland. She completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Plymouth University, UK. She is a trained Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)-therapist and has worked in a forensic medium secure unit in London, UK completing violence risk assessments. At the Police University College of Finland her focus has been on threat assessment procedures and after care arrangements following critical incidents.
Brooke McQuerrey Tuttle
Brooke McQuerrey Tuttle is the Project Coordinator for the Center for Family Resilience in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at Oklahoma State University where she is also a current Ph.D. student. She received her Master’s in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Missouri. Her research interests include risk and resilience for law enforcement families and justice involved youth.
Marian Pitel
Marian Pitel is a Master of Arts student in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the University of Guelph. Her current research focuses on errors at work and how they are managed. She completed her Honours BSc at the University of Toronto. During undergraduate studies, she studied the impact of different training methods on stress and performance of Finnish and Canadian front-line and special operations officers with Dr. Judith Andersen. In addition to research, Marian is a consultant at Organization and Management Solutions where she works in tandem with other consultants to evaluate and improve the selection process of various public and private sector organizations.