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January 2009

Volume 78
Number 1
United States
Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001

Robert S. Mueller III

Contributors’ opinions and statements
should not be considered an
endorsement by the FBI for any policy, Duty of Care
program, or service.
Those charged with enforcing laws and safeguarding citizens place
The attorney general has determined
that the publication of this periodical themselves in harm’s way every day. To ensure their physical, mental,
is necessary in the transaction of the emotional, and spiritual survival, they must receive appropriate support
public business required by law. Use
of funds for printing this periodical has from their agencies and communties. The articles in this issue reveal
been approved by the director of the
Office of Management and Budget. the many forms that duty of care can take.
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
(ISSN-0014-5688) is published
monthly by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, 935 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20535-0001. Periodicals postage paid
at Washington, D.C., and additional
mailing offices. Postmaster: Send
address changes to Editor, FBI Law Features
Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy,
Law Enforcement Communication Unit,
Hall of Honor,
Quantico, VA 22135.
Spirituality The cultivation of spirituality in law
John E. Ott
By Samuel L. Feemster 1 enforcement, at both the individual
and organizational levels, can operate
Associate Editors as an invisible weapon for officers.
Cynthia L. Lewis
David W. MacWha In Harm’s Way Those law enforcement personnel
Bunny S. Morris
Art Director
By Meredith Krause 20 involved in child exploitation and
pornography investigations face
Denise Bennett Smith numerous personal and professional
Assistant Art Director risks.
Stephanie L. Lowe
Staff Assistant
Cindy L. Blackstone

The Training Division’s Law
Enforcement Communication Unit
produces this publication with
assistance from the division’s Departments
National Academy Unit.
Issues are available online at
13 Perspective 30 Notable Speech
E-mail Address
Wounded Warriors and In Memory of Those
the Virginia Tech Tragedy Who Have Fallen
Cover Photo

Send article submissions to Editor,
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin,
FBI Academy, Law Enforcement
Communication Unit, Hall of Honor,
Quantico, VA 22135.

ISSN 0014-5688 USPS 383-310

72397x.indd 4 12/17/2008 1:50:39 PM

An Invisible Weapon
for Wounded Warriors

ccording to Sir Robert the innocent and defenseless, intuitive policing, or stress
Peel, England’s pioneer not to mention their fellow of- management. However, these
of modern policing, ficers and themselves, against experience-based behavioral
“The test of police efficiency is the assaults of human preda- responses and coping mecha-
the absence of crime and dis- tors wounds all those sworn to nisms are learned disciplines
order, not the visible evidence uphold the law. Fortunately, that officers employ in their
of police action in dealing with spirituality, “a universal, hu- fight to survive wounds inflicted
it.” If evidence of their actions man dimension,”1 is an invisible upon them.
should not be visible, does it weapon used by law enforce- Most law enforcement agen-
follow that the wounds all law ment professionals worldwide, cies have begun proactively ad-
enforcement officers incur car- even when they cannot explain dressing the realities of job-re-
rying out these activities also its features or precisely identify lated stressors, crisis incidents,
should remain unseen? The how it operates.2 Sometimes, post-traumatic stress symptoms,
ominous necessity of being spirituality is misidentified as and other potentially debilitat-
armed and vigilant to protect ethics, emotional intelligence, ing conditions and wounds

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“ The ominous necessity
of being armed and
vigilant to protect the
patterns of conscious and un-
conscious thoughts into coher-
ent bits of meaning that can
shape attitudes, mediate feel-
ings, and guide behavior. The
innocent and defenseless... disciplines employed nurtur-
against the assaults of ing their spiritual intelligence
human predators wounds throughout the discovery and
all those sworn to perpetuation of meaning and
uphold the law.

value in what people do and
experience is spirituality.7
Special Agent Feemster serves in the Intentionally cultivating
Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy. spirituality without neglecting
other human dimensions can
provide officers with an effec-
often caused or exacerbated by often, disregarded or cast aside tive invisible weapon for de-
the rigors of law enforcement as sentimental, of inferior im- fense against evil and its toxic
duties.3 Even though such ef- portance to the rational mind.”4 wounds. This result follows
forts prove helpful, many do not “Human beings are essen- because spirituality is more
incorporate a spiritual-wellness tially spiritual creatures because capacious than stress manage-
component. By contrast, how- we are driven by a need to ask ment and more ubiquitous than
ever, military branches have ‘fundamental’ or ‘ultimate’ intuitive policing. It defies a
developed effective programs questions. Why was I born? simplified definition. Just as
to address the inculcation of What is the meaning of my life? entertaining holistic thoughts
core spiritual values in training Why should I go on when I while punching a heavy bag or
and practice. “The language of am tired, or depressed, or feel inhaling nature’s beauty while
spirituality reveals the inspira- beaten? What makes it all eclipsing mile 2 on a 4-mile run
tions, intuitions, and devotions worthwhile?”5 The pursuit of invigorates the spirit, mind, and
that reside in the spirit (soul, answers to questions of mean- body, intentionally cultivating
inner life, core, subconscious) ing and purposefulness is the spirituality increases aware-
of human beings. This is the transformative activity of spir- ness and intuitive accuracy. The
realm in which ontological itual intelligence that addresses undeniable affirmative effect
questions are discussed yet defy the lack of integrity between of positive intuitive policing,8
the limitations of the spoken precepts and practices.6 Spir- coupled with the acknowledged
word. Human touch, a smile, itual intelligence is the deepest benefits of developing emo-
the shedding of a tear, the em- inner capacity (beyond the tional intelligence9 and effective
brace of persons in love, a silent hardware of the brain, emo- stress management,10 on officer
prayer of the heart; these are tions, and psychological states) safety and survival is evidence
the expressions of a language human beings possess that that efficient, constitutionally
in which all fully developed directs their perceptions or in- sanctioned law enforcement can
persons need to be fluent. This terpretations of the meaning of include the spiritual dimension.
is the powerful dimension of life and reality. It is a universe Discussing the reality of
humanity that is sadly, and too that engulfs, as well as governs, spirituality has profoundly

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resonated with law enforcement performance, vitality, and lon- in denominations and, thus, is
officers. The author’s first foray gevity in the profession; and different from religion. But,
into this arena, “Spirituality: discusses the inextricable nexus religion can nurture spirituality
The DNA of Law Enforcement between all human dimensions and vice versa. In addition,
Practice,” brought diverse re- to underscore how spiritual- spirituality in law enforcement
sponses that reflected a unifying ity relates to ethics, emotional constitutes an essential internal
acknowledgment of the signifi- intelligence, intuitive policing, coping power for identifying
cance of spirituality across the and stress management. This and confronting the reality
broad spectrum of law enforce- approach can demonstrate what of evil and its toxicity across
ment positions.11 resonated with readers of his careers. A true understanding of
“I think the article is...a first article. That is, the embrace spirituality reveals that more
subject to which we should be of spirituality does not weaken than tactical training is needed
paying more attention.... I think law enforcement. Rather, it to combat current conditions
you nailed the basic problem: if liberates its members to greater affecting officers. Law enforce-
we are continuously exposed to service through informed prac- ment training academies must
the toxicity of evil, it will have tice and guided performance. include spirituality in their
a corrosive effect.”12 curricula; officers must take
“Two weeks ago, I lost a charge of their own spirituality;
fellow officer to suicide, the and agencies and communities my 25-year career.... must become actively involved
I hope and trust that you will in the effort.
continue your research to Finally, congruent with the
identify causes and solutions vision of America’s founders,
to counteract the ideation of the basic mission of law en-
suicide for the members of the forcement officers—as agents
law enforcement community.”13 of respective governments—is
“I have served for nearly to protect life through service.
14 years and have recently In this context, law enforcement
attempted to broach the sub- © constitutes a fiduciary trust that,
ject that your article uniquely at its best, can only be fully
describes. is to offer embraced and pursued in the
spiritual support to officers who SYNOPSIS OF context of spirituality-oriented
encounter various issues that SALIENT IDEAS policing. Officers can appre-
you have aptly labeled ‘evil’ in Several key insights about hend those who murder, rape,
your article.”14 spirituality emerged from the and pillage citizens because
In view of the affirmative, author’s research presented in society has authorized them
experientially based consensus his first article.15 Among these, to use force to secure life and
captured in these comments, the spirituality is the continual, liberty. As the vanguard of na-
author provides the salient ideas intentional nurturing of the tional security, they protect this
from his first article; presents inner person (spirit) that moti- country from international and
the Spirituality in Law Enforce- vates and implements the spirit domestic terrorism. Yet, their
ment Practice Model and ex- of the law. Spirituality is not basic mission—to protect and
plains how it relates to practice, sectarian nor institutionalized serve—is fraught with repeated

January 2009 / 3

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exposures that wound them in is survival. Officers must be “Promoting spiritual well-
every human dimension. Thus, allowed to do more than just ness and mental survival...
embracing spirituality as the survive their chosen profession; should begin at the recruitment
DNA of law enforcement can they must thrive. Spiritual well- stage. Just as we train with
free officers everywhere to ness produces exemplar life- firearms, officer safety, and
cultivate an essential invisible giving performances throughout legal issues, I believe the same
weapon of protection. the course of a meaningful life type of attention is needed for
and vocation. When officers spiritual wellness and mental
IMPLICATIONS FOR fail to comprehend the inherent survival of officers.”16 “As lead-
WOUNDED WARRIORS spiritual nature of their mis- ers of the organization, I believe
Officers responding to sion, they face a resulting void that it is very important to em-
catastrophic events, horrific that can create a contradiction phasize spiritual wellness and
crime scenes, traffic fatalities, of meaning and manifest as mental survival to all associated
or domestic disturbance calls corruption, illness, dispirited- with our group. This aspect of
must follow standard operat- ness, and similar maladies, all wellness is just as important to

ing procedures and comply a new hire as it is to a veteran
with administrative protocol to trooper. Thus, the success of
protect themselves, safeguard this program depends largely
their communities, and ensure upon those of us in a position
the proper conclusion of non- When senior officers to positively impact this life-
criminal matters and the appro- embrace and model changing practice.”17 “Training
priate resolution or disposition spirituality-oriented should be fluid and constantly
of criminal investigations. At policing, the positive changing. We always should be
no time during the execution effect on their concerned with finding the best
of these official duties can department and way to train our personnel, not
they engage in activities that community proves the fastest or least expensive
interfere with, detract from, or way. Our goal as administra-

impair their abilities to act with
incalculable. tors should be to retain our
physical and moral courage. personnel and maintain their
Yet, these duties exact a heavy physical, emotional, and men-
toll on officers who then need to tal well-being. This should be
filter such experiences through capable of inflicting debilitating a priority.”18 These comments
their own spiritual lens. wounds. Just as when matter from law enforcement leaders
As the governor of law meets antimatter, a black hole support the author’s belief that
enforcement practices, spiri- forms, or when fire meets gas, just as agencies institute safe-
tuality calls forth a level of an explosion ensues, when of- guard strategies for their of-
professional performance that ficers lose sight of the nobility ficers in high-risk assignments,
propels wounded warriors away inherent in their profession, they such as undercover operations,19
from mere survival and toward can slide down a slippery slope they should provide similar care
vitality and holistic wellness. that, for some, leads to the black for all officers so they can resist
Survival is a low bar. Giving hole of suicide. When officers the toxicity of evil and its harm-
the best part at work and taking lose the fire of spirituality, they ful effects and remain strong,
an expended empty self home implode into the abyss. vibrant protectors.

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Spirituality in Law Enforcement
Practice Model

Intelligence Practice

Policing Performance

Ethics Longevity

Stress Vitality

Spirituality is the human dimension that shapes law enforcement practice, performance,
vitality, and longevity. This model connects spirituality with these four areas. Moving from
left to right, the model posits that spirituality is the source of effectiveness for stress man-
agement, ethics, intuitive policing, and emotional intelligence. In short, it amplifies them,
and they, in turn, feed back into spirituality in a healthy officer. On the right side, spirituality
affects the vitality, longevity, performance, and practice of law enforcement by enabling
officers to recharge themselves in the spirit of the law throughout their period of vocational
active duty. A nurtured spirituality improves practice, performance, vitality, and longevity,
which all feed back into spirituality to improve emotional intelligence, intuition, ethics, and
stress management.

Spirituality vocational lives. Practice—how time to give that helping hand
Enhances Practice and why officers fulfill their when someone needs it. This
Understanding why the sworn responsibilities—is the is what has helped me cope
spiritual practice of law en- essential building block of ef- with the unsightly side of law
forcement is essential to the fective, efficient, ethical, and enforcement.”20
continued orderly advancement equitable law enforcement. Why officers are in this
of civilization and how the “Being a police officer is not vocation determines how they
equitable enforcement of just only the hard tough guy catch- practice. How they practice
laws informs performance rep- ing the bad guy, enforcing the influences their day-to-day
resents a source of vitality for law but also a caring and help- performance. “Spirituality in
some officers throughout their ful person who takes the extra policing can be seen when an

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officer holds a small child while resolve disputes, investigate humor” as a primary coping
it sleeps after being abused by fatalities, or secure horrendous mechanism, although many ac-
its parents. It can be seen when crime scenes, officers must rely knowledge it as a cover-up for
an officer spends an extra 30 on fully developed resources what they need. “Finding humor
minutes with an elderly lady across all human dimensions to in awkward situations relieves
who has lost her husband and ensure a competent, sensitive, tension and gives officers an
cannot figure out the VCR and professional performance. outlet on the spot. One example
to play the tape of the family “We deal with the worst people, that comes to mind was when
reunion. Spirituality in polic- or we deal with good people I was working as a detective in
ing can be seen when an officer when they’re at their worst. the sexual assault unit. The sub-
buys a child an ice cream after For example,...I had to notify ject matter is possibly some of
arresting his father for DUI at the mother of a friend of my the most vile an investigator can
3 in the morning. All of these daughter’s that her daughter had handle but approaching it with a
acts are not required by some committed suicide. I knew this little humor brought some stress
policy, but they are required of girl and coached her in softball. relief, and it was outwardly

spirituality-connected human more acceptable to laugh when
beings who are in a service in- what many of us would have
dustry. The impact of these acts preferred to do was cry (and
upon the community cannot be frankly, at times, we did).”24
When senior officers em- Vitality is important Spirituality
brace and model spirituality- because repeated Improves Vitality
oriented policing, the positive exposures keep Embracing resilience is a
effect on their department and officers in constant spiritual act itself because the
start-up mode.

community proves incalculable. desire to overcome is constantly
Citizen complaints, internal under assault. “In my career, I
disharmony, and other financial have seen a great deal of hu-
nightmares generally decline man tragedy.... After a while,
when morale is high. “By dem- these kinds of events begin to
onstrating the value of a healthy It was truly a heartbreaking run together, and they become
family, spiritual, and work life, task but one I felt I had to do intertwined somewhere in the
I can encourage others to do the personally, rather than send back of my mind. Other events,
same. I have committed myself another officer who may not be however, are stuck right in my
to accepting this challenge by as compassionate to that girl’s forebrain. For example, I can
being a professional and per- mother.”23 tell you, in great detail, about
sonal role model, friend, and Failure to appropriately each of the calls I’ve been on
mentor....”22 connect why and how officers where a child has been killed or
practice most often leads to seriously injured, just as though
Spirituality the development of coping they happened this morning,
Accelerates Performance mechanisms that, while tempo- and, because of this, I’m harder
An undeniable nexus be- rarily effective, exacerbate the on my kids. I find myself on
tween practice and performance wounds caused by exposures. them constantly about wear-
exists. When dispatched to Most officers identify “dark ing their bike helmets, staying

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away from the street, and out Spirituality times of need. As leaders...we
from behind parked cars.... I’m Fosters Longevity must ensure that our member’s
equally troubled each time an The spiritual well-being of spiritual and mental wellness is
officer anywhere in the country officers should be a primary addressed constantly.”29
does something out of line that concern beginning at recruit- Unfortunately, positive
makes the news. Each time an ment and continuing until after results do not always occur.
event like this occurs, the pub- retirement. “The question for “During my career, I have made
lic’s confidence in the police is us leaders is whether we want numerous arrests; handled
further eroded.”25 our employees to collapse as several high-profile cases;
Vitality is important because they cross the finish line or have responded to numerous death
repeated exposures keep officers an opportunity to continue to scenes, including homicides and
in constant start-up mode. “I un- enjoy their life and reflect back criminal child/infant deaths;
derstand that each exposure sets positively on their years on the testified against fellow officers
the stage for things to return to job.”28 The presence of a moral in disciplinary hearings and
the ‘new normal.’ The way it criminal proceedings; and
was never will be again. Ac- attended several police funer-
ceptance and coping require that als for partners and coworkers.
realization. Life, freedom, and Aside from the child-death
sanity are worthy of hard work, scenes and the frequent ho-
dedication, and sacrifice.”26 micides, my biggest source of
Mending the spirit of a frustration and stress had more
wounded warrior is a worthy to do with the internal pressures
goal that can be achieved. “I from within the department,
consider myself to be very rather than the external pres-
well-adjusted and well-rounded, sures associated with handling
but that has not happened by crime in the community.”30
accident. It requires a conscious ©
effort and the help of others. I CONNECTIONS TO
also have made a point of cul- OTHER STRATEGIES
tivating friendships outside law compass and appropriate coping “Spiritual intelligence
enforcement. I think this is one mechanisms represent major in- makes us the fully intellectual,
of the best things a person in dicators of officer success, and emotional, and spiritual crea-
this work can do.... This keeps agencies should not overlook tures that we are.”31 Cultivating
me connected to people and or minimize them. In addition spiritual intelligence cannot
minimizes the possibility that I to offering their officers ap- be achieved through train-
will fall prey to that notion that propriate assistance for external ing officers only in emotional
it is us against the rest of the exposures, departments should intelligence, intuitive policing,
world and that ‘no one under- ensure that workplace condi- ethics, or stress management,
stands what we go through.’ I tions foster positive morale. “I regardless of the rigor or repeti-
have found people understand have discovered the importance tiveness. All of these disciplines
quite a bit if you let them in and of the department’s employee are worthy, but alone none can
give them the opportunity to assistance program and the offer sufficient protection from
understand.”27 benefits that it offers to those in the intentional exposures of

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law enforcement as attested by it to my superiors, and it was intentions will be sabotaged
personal testimonies of wound- forwarded to the chaplains in by the display of inappropri-
ed warriors that appear in the our department. To my sur- ate emotions. “Leadership is an
remainder of this article. prise, has motivated them emotional process where lead-
to seek ideas and strategies to ers display emotions in an effort
Spirituality Nurtures Ethics implement spirituality in the to stimulate emotions in others.
Spirituality nurtures ethics, department to help ‘revitalize’ Emotions and moods impact our
and ethical practice nourishes some officers who may have thinking and even the decisions
the spirit of wounded warriors. crossed over to the ‘dark side.’ we make and ultimately gener-
Compliance with ethical stan- We not only want to implement ate an attitude that we display
dards, however, does not invoke and discuss spirituality but to through behavior and habits.”35
spirituality. This commonly held close the ‘gap’ between officers The plight of wounded
misperception—that ethics and and the chaplains.”33 warriors operating without the

spirituality are synonymous— awareness and restraint of emo-
leads to the erroneous conclu- tional intelligence or the resil-
sion that compliance with ethi- ience of a developed spirituality
cal standards makes a person can adversely affect unsuspect-
spiritual. Based upon this error, The spiritual ing citizens. “By its very nature,
law enforcement traditionally well-being of officers law enforcement can cause an
has mandated annual instruction should be a primary officer to become cynical and
in ethics with the intent that this concern beginning profoundly negative. Many of-
scenario-based training will in- at recruitment and ficers, but not all, are inundated
spire practice, build self-esteem, continuing until after with negative feelings of dis-

foster internal cohesion, and retirement. trust and disdain. They come in
fulfill the need to derive mean- contact with the worst sorts of
ing from purposeful work. But, situations, and we teach them to
distinguishing spirituality and be safer by trusting less, which
ethics constitutes more than an fosters the ‘us versus them’
academic hairsplitting exercise. Spirituality Nourishes culture. Citizens are oftentimes
“I remember you discussing this Emotional Intelligence treated like subjects because,
article...and now I have a copy. Emotional intelligence re- from a safety perspective, we
The timing couldn’t be better fers to the measurement of self- use degrees of coercion to con-
because I am in the process of awareness, self-management, trol people’s actions. We must
preparing a lesson plan for a social awareness, and relation- be able to establish control, and,
December ethics in-service for ship management or social unfortunately, these situations
the department and have been skill.34 To manage others well, become unpleasant experiences
struggling. I took the two eth- leaders first must evaluate and for otherwise law-abiding peo-
ics classes at the NA this past address their personal strengths, ple. These negative encounters
summer, but the subject matter deficiencies, needs, and compe- don’t just occur on the street.
just didn’t quite fit into what I tencies and then learn to self- They occur in the office as well,
needed. Your article is going to manage before attempting to and some cops will attest that
fulfill that need.” “I recently
manage others. Absent truthful they are more affected by the
read your article.... I submitted introspection and restraint, good interoffice stress and negatives

8 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397.indd 8 11/27/2008 1:47:20 AM
than what actually occurs on the through realistic training sce- officers, while adhering to the
street.”36 narios and reinforced through letter of the law, perform and
The genesis of truthful on-the-job instruction by sea- practice their profession in
introspection, awareness, and soned field training officers.39 accord with the spirit of the law.
restraint for the well-being of Specifically, officers learn Human dignity is rooted inexo-
self and others is spirituality— intuitive-policing strategies rably in spirituality. The dignity
a sense of meaning and purpose through experience, respond- of officers, along with those
larger than the instrumental ing to situations based on a few against whom laws are enforced
duties of law enforcement. The indicators as opposed to many and those who benefit from
prescribed order for developing or even a body of knowledge.40 equitable enforcement of just
emotional intelligence (scruti- Because intuitive policing, or laws, becomes injured when
nizing self before attempting to rapid cognition, is reliant upon intuition is compromised by
help others) affirms the loci of stimulation from the environ- underdeveloped spiritual aware-
emotional intelligence in anoth- ment, agencies must ensure ness or the active presence of
er, perhaps larger, intelligence. evil. Spiritual depravity, or
In view of this, the develop- dispiritedness, robs officers of
ment of emotional intelligence discretion, thus rendering them
includes the embrace of spiri- incapable of compassionate and
tuality or spiritual intelligence. protective enforcement.41
Emotion constitutes the coding Intuition senses evil and
or interpretation of, or reac- danger at the hidden level of
tion to, the signals provided by spirituality in much the same
spirituality. Thus, as with ethics, way as the sonic boom tangi-
spirituality nurtures emotions, bly indicates that a supersonic
and the exercise of emotional aircraft has broken the sound
intelligence nourishes the spirit barrier by excessive speed.
of wounded warriors. © Digital Vision
Given the overwhelming re-
sponse by law enforcement
Spirituality Governs officers to questions regarding
Intuitive Policing that, through the cultivation of belief in a higher power and the
The word intuition means spirituality, their officers and the difference between religion and
“immediate apprehension or communities they serve are in- spirituality,42 the author believes
cognition.”37 In the context of sulated from injury through the cultivating spirituality as an
law enforcement, some re- application of positive, rather invisible weapon for wounded
searchers have explained intui- than negative, intuitive policing. warriors will govern both the
tive policing as a neurological Spirituality refers to disci- immediacy and accuracy of
decision-making process that plines undertaken in the care intuitive policing.
officers frequently employ but and furtherance of the whole-
find difficult to explain to those some or holistic development Spirituality Enables
unfamiliar with the concept.38 of the spirit. The author sug- Stress Management
This perspective suggests that gests that intuition is a signal “Stress and spirituality
intuitive policing is learned law of spirituality. In law enforce- are partners in the dance of
enforcement behavior initiated ment, spirituality abounds when life.”43 Stress is the inability to

January 2009 / 9

72397x.indd 13 12/17/2008 1:52:27 PM
cope with a perceived (real or plays an important role in the experience fits in one’s life and
imagined) threat to a person’s lives of healthy individuals and how each of us will reconcile it
mental, physical, emotional, that many people, regardless of so it does not have a lingering
and spiritual well-being that the status of their health, rely on stressful impact.”50
results in a series of physiologi- their belief systems as a cop- Absent intentional spiritu-
cal responses and adaptations. ing mechanism during stressful ality, the coping mechanisms
Stressors, the circumstances, events.48 Therefore, effective people adopt to manage stress
situations, or other factors that stress management training often increases it. Then, they
cause or promote stress,44 are must address every component become a stressor to others.
not inherently evil. Rather, of well-being: mental, emo- Thus, it seems reasonable to
people’s beliefs about and reac- tional, physical, and spiritual. conclude that law enforce-
tions to dangerous incidents or “Through these activities, I have ment training academies should
events that threaten their liberty been able to maintain a healthy consider stress management and
or well-being influence their re- mind, body, and perspective, spirituality as complementary
sponses. They label these events disciplines. “It was during my
stressful, and, most often, their © basic training that I had my first
responses include anger or fear. look at anything really bloody
Unresolved, either can spiral or violent. We were given some
downward into loss of control. crime scene photos to review
Herein resides the impetus for and see what we thought the
stress management. potential evidence may have
Hans Selye, one of the been. The pictures were taken at
pioneers of stress management, a murder scene, and there was
said, “I cannot and should not a lot of blood and a body. I had
be cured of my stress but mere- never seen a dead body in that
ly taught to enjoy it.”45 Stress condition before. I remember
management identifies and feeling sick to my stomach and
implements acceptable coping wondering how people could
mechanisms that enable indi- treat each other that way. That
viduals to validate perceptions not just through physical ac- was my first experience at deal-
and then respond appropriately tivity itself but through the ing with the stress and violence
to stressors. Stress manage- social interaction with people of my new profession. After
ment training attempts to make of similar interests outside ‘the class that day, the instructor
people aware of and able to job.’ It helps me to remember pulled me to the side and asked
control stress in their lives46 and that there are still good people if I was okay. He said that he
often includes cognitive restruc- out there.”49 “I think I have been knew the photos had affected
turing, physical exercise, nutri- more inclined to view those me. He told me that, in the
tional management, effective stressful moments as tests of future, I would be facing a lot of
communication, and resource my ability to adapt to various things that were terrible to look
allocation. Several researchers circumstances. The other part at and harder to forget. He said
have identified spirituality as of that test, and one that I be- that I needed to learn to control
an effective means of managing lieve is missed by many people, my emotions because people
stress,47 finding that spirituality is to understand where that would be counting on me to be

10 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397.indd 10 11/27/2008 1:42:36 AM
brave and make decisions and wounded warriors. “Our great- Joseph A. Harpold and Samuel L.
Feemster, “Negative Influences of Police
do the right thing when every- est assets are the people with Stress,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin,
thing around me was falling whom we work. We should September 2002, 1-6; Stephen R. Band and
apart.”51 treat them as our most precious Donald C. Sheehan, “Managing Undercover
resource. We need to handle Stress: The Supervisor’s Role,” FBI Law
CONCLUSION Enforcement Bulletin, February 1999, 1-6;
them with care. We need to and Vincent J. McNally and Roger M.
The absence of protection acknowledge that people work Solomon, “The FBI’s Critical Incident Stress
from toxic exposures during the to live, not live to work. ‘Once Management Program,” FBI Law Enforce-
you choose law enforcement as ment Bulletin, February 1999, 20-26.
execution of peacekeeping ser- 4
K.J. Stavresky, “A Spiritual Foundation
vice, coupled with the ominous a career you give up the right for Air Force Core Values”; retrieved on Feb-
presence of evil, gives rise to a to be unfit.’ This must apply ruary 11, 2002, from
law enforcement officer’s need to fitness both mentally and jscope/JSCOPE99/Stavresky99.html.
Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall, Spiri-
for the affirmation of self-worth, physically.”52 tual Intelligence, The Ultimate Intelligence

clarity of values, meaningful (London, England: Bloomsbury Publishing,
life experiences, and connected- 2000).
ness that transcends personal, 7
Samuel L. Feemster, “Spirituality:
cultural, and spatial limitations. The DNA of Law Enforcement Practice,”
Spiritual dormancy discourages Spirituality FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, November
appropriately accessing person- 2007, 8-17.
refers to disciplines 8
Anthony J. Pinizzotto, Edward F. Davis,
al practices in search of much- undertaken in the care and Charles E. Miller III, “Intuitive Policing:
needed revival and restoration.
Spiritual dormancy at any level
and furtherance of the Emotional/Rational Decision Making in
Law Enforcement,” FBI Law Enforcement
fosters spiritual bankruptcy. In wholesome or holistic Bulletin, February 2004, 1-6.

today’s world of violence and development of 9
Phlunte E. Riddle, “Leading the Next

Generation of Law Enforcement Through
terrorism, spiritual dormancy the spirit. Emotional Intelligence,” (paper for Com-
can no longer be the accepted mand College Class 40, May 2007).
Katherine W. Ellison, Stress and the
practice. Likewise, spiritual Police Officer, 2nd ed. (Springfield, IL:
bankruptcy cannot remain the Charles C. Thomas, 2004); and Brian Luke
norm for officers exposed to Seaward, Managing Stress: Principles and
Endnotes Strategies for Health and Well-Being, 5th ed.
injury from evil and its toxic 1
N.C. Goddard, “Spirituality as Integra- (Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2006).
effects. tive Energy: A Philosophical Analysis as 11
Undisputed evidence of the Requisite Precursor to Holistic Nursing 12
Michael A. Mason, former executive
wounds inflicted upon officers Practice,” Journal of Advanced Nursing 22, assistant director of the FBI, e-mail message
as the result of acute and chron- no. 24This
(1995): 808-815.
article emphasizes spirituality as
to author, November 9, 2007.
Major Scott L. Salley, chief of Correc-
ic exposures during and after the missing link in law enforcement. The tions and Judicial Services, Collier County,
investigative activities, whether use of spirituality as the designated focus, Florida, Sheriff’s Office, e-mail message to
short or long, cry out for the de- rather than the spirit, is intentional. Spirit author, November 16, 2007.
and spirituality are related but distinguished. 14
Officer John E. Standley, Columbus,
velopment and implementation The former (spirit) depicts the unobservable Ohio, Division of Police, e-mail message to
of safeguards. The cultivation of source of our innermost being, while the lat- author, November 24, 2007.
spirituality in law enforcement, ter (spirituality) refers to the wholesome 15
Under the auspices of the Behavioral
at both the individual and orga- or holistic development of the spirit.
Dennis Lindsey, “Police Fatigue:
Science Unit at the FBI Academy, the author
surveyed four National Academy (NA) ses-
nizational levels, can operate An Accident Waiting to Happen,” FBI Law sions, wherein out of approximately 1,000
as an invisible weapon for Enforcement Bulletin, August 2007, 1-8; students, 747 of them participated. The FBI

January 2009 / 11

72397x.indd 15 12/17/2008 1:52:59 PM
hosts four 10-week NA sessions each year Science for Law Enforcement Operations from a scientific standpoint. However,
during which law enforcement executives course, FBI National Academy 229th Ses- acknowledging and adhering to an intuitive
from around the world come together to sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. response is not the exclusive domain of law
attend classes in various criminal justice 25
Lieutenant William Scott Niehus, Geau- enforcement.
subjects. ga County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office, excerpt 39
Pinizzotto, Davis, and Miller.
Deputy Chief Carlos Rojas, Santa Ana, from midterm paper for Applied Behavioral 40
Dennis J. Stevens, Police Officer Stress:
Texas, Police Department, excerpt from mid- Science for Law Enforcement Operations Sources and Solutions (Upper Saddle River,
term paper for Applied Behavioral Science course, FBI National Academy 229th Ses- NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008).
for Law Enforcement Operations course, sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. 41
FBI National Academy 233rd Session, 26
Captain Bruce Bradbery, Blacksburg, 42
Ibid., 12.
Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. Virginia, Police Department, excerpt from 43
Lieutenant Richard Maness, North midterm paper for Applied Behavioral 44
Carolina Highway Patrol, excerpt from mid- Science for Law Enforcement Operations 45
Ibid., 2.
term paper for Applied Behavioral Science course, FBI National Academy 232nd Ses- 46
Robert T. Sigler and Ron D. Thweatt,
for Law Enforcement Operations course, sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. “Religiosity and Stress for Police Officers,”
FBI National Academy 233rd Session, 27
Assistant Chief Bill Nixon, Decorah, Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. Iowa, Police Department, excerpt from mid- 12, no. 1 (1997): 13-24.
Lieutenant Trevor J. Smith, Louisiana term paper for Applied Behavioral Science 47
D. Baldacchino, and P. Draper,
State Police, excerpt from midterm paper for Law Enforcement Operations course, “Spiritual Coping Strategies: A Review of
for Stress Management in Law Enforcement FBI National Academy 232nd Session, the Nursing Research Literature,” Journal of
course, FBI National Academy 233rd Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. Advanced Nursing 34, no. 6 (2001): 833-841.
Session, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. 28
Rojas. 48
Inez Tuck, Renne Alleyne, and Wan-
Meredith Krause, “Safeguarding Under- 29
Lieutenant Dean Welch, Washington, tana Thinganjana, “Spirituality and Stress
cover Employees: A Strategy for Success,” D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, Management in Healthy Adults,” Journal of
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, August 2008, excerpt from midterm paper for Stress Man- Holistic Nursing 24, no. 4 (2006): 245-253.
1-8. agement for Law Enforcement course, FBI 49
Investigator Robert L. Vernier, Harris National Academy 232nrd Session, Samuel 50
County, Texas, District Attorney’s Office, L. Feemster, Instructor. 51
Lieutenant Wayne Moore, Garner,
excerpt from midterm paper for Stress Man- 30
Commander Thomas Stangrecki, North Carolina, Police Department, excerpt
agement for Law Enforcement course, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bureau of Police, from midterm paper for Applied Behavioral
FBI National Academy 233rd Session, excerpt from midterm paper for Applied Science for Law Enforcement Operations
Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. Behavioral Science for Law Enforcement course, FBI National Academy 228th Ses-
Captain Troy D. Davenport, Pueblo, Operations course, FBI National Academy sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor.
Colorado, Police Department, excerpt from 230th Session, Samuel L. Feemster, 52
Lieutenant Mark C. Rasmussen, Illinois
midterm paper for Applied Behavioral Instructor. State Police, excerpt from midterm paper for
Science for Law Enforcement Operations 31
Zohar and Marshall. Stress Management for Law Enforcement
course, FBI National Academy 233rd Ses- 32
Captain Doug Thrash, Rapid City, course, FBI National Academy 233rd Ses-
sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. South Dakota, Police Department, e-mail sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. “Once
Executive Lieutenant Joe Natiello, message to author, November 15, 2007. you choose law enforcement as a career you
Broward County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office, 33
Officer Lauren Loftley, Columbia, give up the right to be unfit” comes from a
excerpt from midterm paper for Applied South Carolina, Police Department, e-mail sign Lieutenant Rasmussen saw at the Illinois
Behavioral Science for Law Enforcement message to author, January 27, 2008. State Police Academy during his initial train-
Operations course, FBI National Academy 34
Daniel Goldman, Emotional Intel- ing as a cadet.
232nd Session, Samuel L. Feemster, ligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
Instructor. (New York, NY: Bantam, 1995).
Lieutenant Daniel J. Algeri, Brooklyn 35
Timothy Turner, “Leadership Spotlight: The author gratefully acknowledges
Heights, Ohio, Police Department, excerpt The Need for Emotional Intelligence in all who took the time to respond to his
from midterm paper for Applied Behavioral Leadership,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, first article and to those who contrib-
Science for Law Enforcement Operations September 2006, 10. uted their candid comments for inclu-
course, FBI National Academy 233rd Ses- 36
Niehus. sion in this one. He also encourages
sion, Samuel L. Feemster, Instructor. 37
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Diction- readers interested in discussing and
Lieutenant Karen Burgess, Santa Clara ary, 11th ed., s.v. “intuition.” furthering this crucial issue to contact
County, California, Sheriff’s Office, excerpt 38
Intuitive policing represents an ex- him at
from midterm paper for Applied Behavioral ample of the application of intuition purely

12 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397.indd 12 11/27/2008 1:56:11 AM

Wounded Warriors and
the Virginia Tech Tragedy
A Police Chaplain’s View
By Thomas R. McDearis, Ph.D.

A pril 16, 2007, was already a strange day
in Blacksburg, Virginia. Nestled in the
Blue Ridge Mountains, Blacksburg is accustomed
to unusual weather patterns. However, 35 degrees,
Upon answering the phone, I heard a member
of the local rescue squad say, “Do you know what’s
going on? There’s shooting, lots of it. Somebody’s
inside Norris Hall, and they’re shooting the place
snow flurries, and wind gusts of 60 miles per hour up. You better get over there fast.” Having once
are quite odd for spring, even in a town where the been a deputy sheriff, I knew the gravity and dan-
joke is, “If you don’t like our weather, wait an ger of such a call.
hour, and it’ll be something else.” I currently serve as a chaplain of the Blacks-
I was taking the day off that Monday. As ridic- burg Police Department and as the senior pastor
ulous as it now seems, I thought I had a problem. of the Blacksburg Baptist Church. Sensing that the
My printer had gone out, and I was complaining, day was about to thrust me into places where in-
in my mind, that I had to go out in that wretched stant identification would be crucial, I grabbed my
weather to buy a new one. Moving slowly, having badge and my police uniform from the closet. But,
no urgency to be anywhere, I had just stepped to before I could get dressed, the phone rang again
another room when I heard my cell phone ringing. and again. Lieutenant Bruce Bradbery, now a cap-
Unable to reach it, I thought that they could leave tain, of the Blacksburg Police Department yelled,
a message, and I would call them back. Seconds “Pray! Pray hard! Don’t stop. Go to the hospital
later, it rang again. Experience told me that this as fast as you can.” Another call came from an
call was important. unidentified number. Although I still am unsure

January 2009 / 13

72397.indd 13 11/27/2008 1:43:01 AM
who it was, I never will forget the voice saying, Virginia Tech and Blacksburg police departments
“It’s terrible. Come quick. We need your help.” would have been available to respond to the shoot-
ings in Norris Hall. However, following the first
The Unthinkable Attack shootings, a student in a neighboring room report-
At the time, I had no way of knowing that the ed what she thought was someone who had fallen
first chapter of this tragedy had begun over 2 hours from a bunk bed in the room next door. Virginia
earlier when the same assailant shot and wounded Tech Rescue was dispatched, and a Virginia Tech
a young woman in her dorm on the Virginia Tech police officer responded as well. Upon arrival, the
campus. She would die 2 hours later. Upon hear- officer found two bodies and called for assistance.
ing either the gunshot or the girl’s cry for help, the As time passed, that initial call brought a contin-
floor’s resident assistant went to her aid. He was gent of officers from the Virginia Tech and Blacks-
shot in the head upon entering her room and died burg police departments, including the emergency
instantly. response (SWAT) teams from both, to the campus.
Although it is not known why this first assault Also, the Blacksburg police requested patrol as-
was made, this tragic event revealed itself to be a sistance from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s
mistake toward the assailant completing his ulti- Office, a call that made still more officers available
mate plan. Had that event not occurred only those when the shootings began in Norris Hall.
officers on patrol and the command staffs of the At 9:42 a.m., the first call was received from
Norris Hall; others would follow. An active
shooter was on the second floor of the classroom
Dr. McDearis, a former building. Officers from both Virginia Tech and
deputy sheriff, is the lead Blacksburg responded. Although the assailant had
chaplain for the Blacksburg, chained the doors of Norris Hall from the inside,
Virginia, Police Department
and the senior pastor of the the police made entry within 8 minutes of the first
Blacksburg Baptist Church. call. Breaching doors with gunfire and bolt cutters,
they made an attack on the second floor of Norris
Hall where they could hear shots being fired in
rapid succession. They immediately announced
their presence upon reaching the second-floor
hallway. At that time, one more shot was heard,
that of the assailant taking his own life. The build-
ing then became utterly silent. No screams or calls
for help were heard. A room-to-room search was
conducted. Once the suspect was identified and the
floor was secured, the medical evacuation began.
The Terrible Toll
As I raced to the local hospital, I could tell
something truly terrible was unfolding. Law
enforcement units and ambulances from across a
40-mile region were streaming toward Virginia
Tech. En route to the hospital, I called Lieutenant
Bradbery for an update. I had no idea that he was

14 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 18 12/17/2008 1:53:46 PM
loading injured and dying students from the class- Tell the ER to be ready.” After passing the mes-
room building into his police SUV and speeding sage, a number of us went to the ambulance bay
them two blocks away to the staging area where to await the incoming victims. Within minutes, the
dozens of ambulances were now lining up to trans- first sirens blared into the hospital driveway as we
port the wounded. I asked where he was, and he stood ready to unload the broken students. Yelling
replied, “I can’t talk now. Get to the hospital. This “red,” meaning the students were critical and a
is bad. I’ve never seen anything like it.” top priority, we grabbed the stretchers and pushed
Tragedy is not new to me. While in college, I them to waiting medical teams. One girl, shot sev-
not only served with the sheriff’s office but also eral times, grabbed my hand and said, “Hold me.
worked part time for a funeral I’m gonna die.” I held her as
home and with the local ambu- long as I could, and, thankfully,
lance service. Later, while serv- she did not die.
ing my first rural church, I was In less than 10 minutes,
a captain with the county’s fire the driveway was filled with
and rescue service. I have seen ambulances bringing 18 of the
my share of death and injury, but 25 wounded victims to our hos-
not like this. pital. Many were badly injured
Arriving before I could and some less so, but all were
hear the wail of the first sirens stunned and shocked that such
from approaching ambulances, a thing could happen. They mir-
I thought the emergency depart- rored the feelings of the entire
ment of Montgomery Regional community.
Hospital looked surreal, like As the first line of ambu-
an episode of “ER.” Doctors, lances unloaded their shattered
nurses, and technicians suited cargo, we all became annoyed
in their sterile gowns; the entire hospital abuzz that we could not hear any other sirens approach-
with the trauma alert; four surgical suites cleared ing. What was the hold up? What was taking so
for trauma surgery. It was eerie and, oddly, quite long? As we stood in the ambulance bay awaiting
reassuring. more victims, a nurse came to me with tears in her
Several police officers arrived at the hospital eyes. “That’s all of them,” she said, “but they say
almost in tandem with me. As they began setting they have at least 12 dead, maybe more.” Only
up security and a media area, I was summoned then did it hit us. We would hear no more sirens. A
to a trauma room to minister to a young student silence had befallen Norris Hall. A silence no siren
who had been gravely wounded in the first at- could awaken.
tack at Ambler-Johnson Hall and whose eyes now Fifteen minutes later, I called Lieutenant
portrayed the close of life. I offered a prayer of Bradbery. Asking how many victims were dead
benediction. Minutes later, she was evacuated to and hoping that he would correct the number I had
the region’s level-one trauma center where neuro- been told earlier, I never will forget his answer, “I
surgeons awaited her arrival. Sadly, shortly after don’t know for sure, but it’s like a war zone. I’d
leaving our hospital, the young woman died. say between 30 and 40. At least that many.” My
As I emerged from the room, Lieutenant mind could not comprehend 12 dead, much less
Bradbery called me and said, “I’ve just put eight between 30 and 40. For me, however, even worse
students in an ambulance and they’re on their way. was to come.

January 2009 / 15

72397x.indd 19 12/17/2008 1:54:01 PM
The Inner Turmoil As we entered the archway of this grand 1920s-
Less than 10 minutes after speaking with era classroom building, a door suddenly burst
Lieutenant Bradbery, I received a call from my open, and through it came a stretcher carrying a
church staff regarding a missing student who had stark black, sadly occupied, body bag. It was the
been in room 211 of Norris Hall. By this time, I epitome of paradox.
knew that some of the worst carnage in Norris Over the next 2 hours, we chaplains paced the
Hall had occurred in room 211. Yet, I had no way area talking with stunned and sometimes angry
to confirm this student’s whereabouts. I immedi- police officers. I found one officer standing behind
ately canvassed the hospital to ascertain if she had a bush with tears in his eyes, clearly wanting no
been brought in without my noticing. She was not one to see him. However, most were doing better
there. I then called the other hospitals in the region, than I had expected. Having shifted early into “cop
spoke with police officers on the scene, and gave mode,” they performed their arduous tasks with
them her name and description. There was no sign poise and professionalism. Most had placed the
of her. I knew this left only one place for her to bulk of their emotions in neutral. They all knew
be, but I tried to tell myself that they had important work
that several victims had yet to to do that could not be ham-

be identified at other hospitals. pered by tears or rage.
Surely, she was one of them. Sometime after our arrival
For the next 3 hours, I cared Over the next 2 at Norris Hall, I received an-
for the less severely wounded hours, we chaplains other call informing me that
students, letting them talk and paced the area no one had found the miss-
helping them with phone calls talking with stunned ing student from our church.
to their parents and friends. and sometimes I called the police command
We set up a hospitality room angry police post to see if she was listed
for the friends of the wounded. among the wounded. She was

Dozens of them arrived seek- not. I decided to go to room
ing information and support, 211 to see if she was there.
and we did the best we could to However, as I started toward
keep them calm and informed. Norris Hall, I received a phone
I made my rounds to the many police officers from call from Blacksburg’s police chief. The Inn at
several agencies surrounding the hospital. How Virginia Tech had been designated as the receiving
were they doing? What were they thinking? What point for the families of the deceased. The chief
did they need? How could I help? Questions any asked me and the other chaplain to join a lieuten-
chaplain would ask in the aftermath of a major ant at the Inn to establish a command post and to
tragedy. begin the process of notifying the families of their
By 1 p.m., the worst of the crisis at the hospital losses. I told the chief that I was about to go search
had subsided, so I left to go to Norris Hall. An- for the missing student, but she asked me to avoid
other chaplain and I arrived just as the process of doing so. She told me that even if I found her, I
removing bodies began. To me, the Virginia Tech could not tell her parents until the police had posi-
campus is one of the most beautiful state university tively identified her. Understanding the situation,
campuses in America. Most of the buildings are I followed the chief’s instructions. However, this
constructed of magnificent stone known locally as was hard for me. I was functioning in two roles
Hokie Stone, named for the Virginia Tech mascot. on April 16, 2007. I was a representative of the

16 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 20 12/17/2008 1:54:26 PM
Blacksburg Police Department, but I also was the I live 100 years, I never will forget those screams,
pastor of the Blacksburg Baptist Church. These one after the other for 2 consecutive days. It was
roles rarely are in conflict, but, occasionally, the months before I stopped hearing those screams in
lines between them can become blurred. This day my dreams. And, oh, how desperately those fami-
was one of those times. lies clung to hope. Those poor people grasped to
Upon arriving at the Inn, the first people I saw every ounce of hope they could for as long as they
were the missing student’s parents. There was an- could. They were so desperate for the truth. But,
guish on their faces. Suddenly, I felt like I should until the truth was finally spoken, in their minds,
have gone to Norris Hall to find their daughter. That their children, husbands, and wives were still with
is what I would have wanted someone to do for me. them. Again, it was such a paradox: families des-
I quickly called to ask if the perately wanting to know
victims of room 211 were while, simultaneously, never
still in the classroom, but the wanting to know.
bodies had been cleared. A On the evening of April
wave of guilt swept over me. 16, a second personal blow
As a police chaplain, it is not came my way. Having been
my job to seek out and iden- called to make another notifi-
tify murder victims, but, as cation, I asked the name of the
this family’s pastor, I felt an victim. The chief turned
obligation to try to find their and handed it to me. I was
daughter. Yet, I knew this shocked when I saw the
was not my choice to make. name of another student who
The final choice lay with the also attended our church. A
chief of police. My job as a girl who always seemed to
chaplain was to inform the sparkle with joy; I rarely saw
many families of their losses and then minister to her without a smile on her face. She had big dreams
their needs. But, those two parents right in front of for the future, she had the drive and the intelligence
me were my church members. I felt so torn inside. to make them come true, and all of her dreams
However, my great respect for our chief and the included God and the greater good of humankind.
knowledge of my role in this tragedy led me to
follow the chief’s instructions. To be effective, a The Invisible Wounds
police chaplain must understand this role, and, if The following days were a blur. President Bush
you cannot fulfill the requirements of the job, you and Governor Kaine arrived on April 17 for the
should step out of it. I chose to try to fulfill the re- joint memorial service on campus. I helped escort
quirements of the position, even though it left me the families to the coliseum while dozens of police
feeling guilt-ridden. officers provided security. Then came the funerals.
From the early evening of April 16 until the I led three of them and assisted the police at the
early afternoon of April 17, we informed families funeral home and at the sites of several others. Be-
of their tragic losses. It was a slow process. Most tween the services, we conducted critical incident
of the students were not carrying identification, so debriefings with the police officers. Many were
nearly all had to be identified by other means. As held at my church. But, regardless of the setting,
the families received the grim news, a few were the response was usually the same. Some officers
calm and almost stoic. Most, however, were not. If were annoyed because they were required to be

January 2009 / 17

72397.indd 17 11/27/2008 1:43:46 AM
present. Some were talkative. There were tears. do you say when you know, all too personally, the
Often, there was silence coupled with a deep sense frustration that everyone feels?
of mutual compassion. Everyone understood how Having been a cop, I know the culture. I knew
the others were feeling, so support and respect from experience that this was no place for spouting
permeated the various police departments. scripture or offering unwanted religious platitudes.
Like most of Blacksburg, I spent the following Yet, even among these strong, determined warriors,
days trying to make sense of the senseless act that support was needed. What should we do next? At
so shattered our town and our university. I wanted least a partial answer soon came, something differ-
to think that, until the morning of April 16, a broken ent from what I had previously witnessed.
printer and a day of blustery weather were among In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy,
our more significant crises, but such was not true. officers from five area agencies began making
Less than a year earlier, in August 2006, two local contact. Most did not want the others to know that
officers were killed in the line of duty, shot by an they were talking to the “cop’s parsons,” so they
escaped prisoner. The police officers and sheriff’s would call at night or find some reason to drop by
deputies of the region still were grieving when the our churches. Some called to ask if I wanted to
Virginia Tech tragedy unfolded, thus making April join them for lunch. Some just needed to let off
16 even more heart wrenching and stressful. steam. Some did nothing more than tell the latest
In the days that followed, many spoke honest joke. Some sent e-mails or text messages. But, in
words to me that were hard to hear, “It feels like the months following the tragedy, seldom a week
God took a day off that Monday.” How do you went by without calls from officers, their spouses,
care for people amidst such doubt and suffering? or their significant others.
It was a dilemma being faced by all of the police Officers would stop us in the halls of the police
chaplains from every department involved. What headquarters “to chat.” More police officers and

18 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397.indd 18 11/27/2008 1:43:57 AM
sheriff’s deputies passed through the back door warriors. Rather than being the “cop’s preachers,”
of my church in April, May, and June 2007 than we have tried to simply be a presence. We never
had been inside that building in 50 years. Most get worked up if a cop cusses. So what? We are
were not there to “find God,” although a few did not in the judgment business. We are in the helping
so in the weeks after the shootings. But, most did business. We have tried to be there when death or
not come for overt religion. Some came sincerely sickness came calling or when marriages or rela-
asking, “Tommy, how are you doing?” Others just tionships were coming apart. When a word from
wanted to share their story with another who was God was appropriate, helpful, and desired, we
there. But, the point is that many came, and all have tried to offer it. But, we always have extended
were welcomed because they were the wounded support, friendship, humor, and a presence—
warriors. They had walked in the blood of children a spiritual presence—for wounded spirits. Is that
and in that of heroic profes- enough? No, but it is a start.
sors who tried to bar class- And, with all my heart and

room doors with their bod- soul, I believe God moves
ies in an effort to save their through those who will make
students. These warriors in Like most of their lives an avenue upon
blue and brown were indeed Blacksburg, I spent which the gifts of hope and
strong and professional, but the following days healing can travel. And, I
they were wounded nonethe- trying to make sense know even the strongest and
less. They had seen a huge of the senseless the bravest warriors have
chunk of hell that day, as act that so shattered wounds that must be healed if
well as another on that earlier our town and those warriors are to remain
August day when their com- our university. strong and fit for battle.

rades had fallen. Their spir- Too many of our warriors
its were heavy. They were in blue give in to cynicism,
spiritually drained. They alcoholism, and depression
needed someone to under- without ever reaching out for
stand and to offer them encouragement. Some another’s help. Some give up completely. When
needed assurance that the bad guy had not won. they do, we all lose. One officer who commits
Others just needed assurance, period. So, they suicide is not only one too many but is one less
came to their chaplains. It has been my experience warrior to respond when evil descends upon our
that not a lot of officers do that. It was one of the streets or our classrooms.
great affirmations of my life that so many of them How do we repair these wounded spirits?
did. Somewhere along the way, a bond of trust Much work needs to be done before we can fully
had apparently formed, and, for that trust, we answer that question. But, the work must be done.
chaplains were extremely grateful. Virginia Tech was not and will not be the last place
where law enforcement officers will walk amidst
The Need for Care the wounds. Every time they do, a part of the spirit
How do you care for the spirits of the wounded cracks. And, after all, even the hardest stone can
warriors when so many run for cover upon hear- crumble if the cracks become too deep.
ing the word spiritual? It is indeed a dilemma. For
Readers interested in discussing and furthering this crucial
us, the chance to do so came only after having issue can contact the author at
spent many years walking in the shadows of these

January 2009 / 19

72397x.indd 23 12/17/2008 2:19:36 PM
In Harm’s Way
Duty of Care for
Child Exploitation
and Pornography


ince the 1990s, law provided online forums for the been drafted and reassigned
enforcement agencies international criminal com- to engage in the full range of
have witnessed ram- munity of child predators and activities essential to the inves-
pant growth in the computer- facilitated unfettered cyber tigation of computer-facilitated,
facilitated possession, produc- access to potential child vic- often online, child exploita-
tion, and distribution of child tims. In response to this clear tion and pornography. While
pornography due in large part and present danger, federal, many of these investigators are
to technological advances state, and local law enforcement selected on the basis of their
that have eased the exchange agencies have developed and previous experience work-
of large caches of this mate- deployed enhanced and targeted ing juvenile sex crimes, child
rial. These changes, together initiatives.1 abuse, or domestic violence,
with the emergence of social- With the emergence and others are chosen by virtue of
networking Web sites, Listserv growth of these programs, law their technological savvy, their
systems, and newsgroups, have enforcement personnel have willingness to volunteer for the

20 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 24 12/17/2008 1:55:26 PM
work, or other reasons unrelated
to their professional suitability
for this high-risk duty (e.g.,
resource and staffing issues).
Once assigned to this activity,
“ Given the compelling
nature of the child
victims, investigators
these employees face numerous
personal and professional risks,
frequently experience
often without adequate under- great internal and
standing, guidance, or support external pressure....

from their peers, supervisors,
local prosecutors and judges,
or family members.
Dr. Krause is an industrial psychologist with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Understanding the Risk
Because of the nature and
relative novelty of this inves- cases, and save lives. The cor- need to interact with suspects
tigative activity, “cyber cops” rosive effects of these demands when they are available online
face a wide range of personal often are exacerbated by the also presents a logistical and
and professional challenges of- relatively recent emergence of scheduling challenge, requiring
ten overlooked and minimized this investigative technique, the investigators to work odd hours
by both managers and investiga- problems associated with inves- to maintain continuity of con-
tors themselves. Unique to the tigative dependence on com- tact or to remain at their posts
cyberspace battlefield, these puter hardware and software, in the search for a known, live
stressors are compounded by and the lack of reliable access to victim. In turn, this may lead to
those typically encountered by technologically knowledgeable accumulated overtime, inter-
all law enforcement personnel. support personnel. These frus- ference with family and social
Chief among these, the repeated trations are compounded by the responsibilities, and isolation
exposure to obscene, toxic, and ever-changing cyber landscape from colleagues. Such personal
exceptionally disturbing pic- that offers offenders new illicit hardships can be compounded
tures and videos of child vic- opportunities and renders estab- by the difficulties associated
tims is routinely ranked among lished crime-fighting techniques with establishing and main-
the top four stressors in the law and tools cumbersome and often taining a secure connection
enforcement profession, fol- obsolete. to the Internet that cannot be
lowing only a fatal line-of-duty These practical problems traced back to a law enforce-
shooting, the line-of-duty death become further complicated ment agency and providing
of a fellow officer, and the sur- by the need for personal, appropriate technology and
vival of a physical attack.2 technological, and organiza- computer analysis response
Given the compelling nature tional resources sufficient to team support to investigators as
of the child victims, investiga- establish and sustain a credible evidence accumulates. More-
tors frequently experience great online persona that interacts over, these investigations often
internal and external pressure to with targets in a way that does push the limits of existing prac-
cover the overwhelming number not raise suspicion or allow for tice, policy, and legislation or
of leads that they receive, make traceability. Oftentimes, the case law and may proceed with

January 2009 / 21

72397.indd 21 11/27/2008 1:44:26 AM
insufficient guidance regard- personal or professional chal- a false sense of security, causing
ing investigative techniques, lenge (e.g., when cases lag or investigators to underestimate
evidentiary requirements, legal during major life changes). the personal risks associated
standards, and punitive respons- Sometimes, however, this com- with online work. This self-de-
es. Similarly, the investigative mitment can have deleterious ception may translate into face-
and geographic scope of these effects on personal, emotional, to-face interactions with sub-
cases can demand unparalleled or family functioning and may jects and render investigators
levels of cross-jurisdictional interfere with the ability to vulnerable to the unpredictable
coordination and cooperation, a detect these negative conse- and often dangerous actions of
source of clear strain to inves- quences. Even when faced with perpetrators during interviews
tigators, police managers, and evidence of them, investigators or arrests.
prosecutors alike.3 may feel that they do not have
Over time, many investiga- the option of transferring to a Calculating and
tors develop an extraordinary new assignment, believing that Mitigating the Peril
commitment to this meaningful they are turning their backs on The stressors unique to child
and satisfying work. In most child victims, creating a void exploitation and pornography
instances, this dedication fosters in their agency, or facing few cases add to the long list of
great success for the investiga- suitable alternative assignments. acute and chronic organization-
tors, as well as their agencies, This relentless dedication also al, personal, and interpersonal
and buoys them during times of may result in the emergence of demands commonly associ-
ated with policing.4 In much
the same way that employees
in high-risk assignments, such
as undercover work or SWAT,
Table 1. Stressors Unique to Child Exploitation warrant unique managerial and
and Pornography Investigations organizational support (e.g., in
the form of recruiting, selecting,
Repeated exposure to obscene content
monitoring, and training), child
Pressure to cover leads, make cases, save live victims exploitation and pornography
Relative novelty of investigative approach and investigators also need special
techniques “care and feeding” to optimize
Dependence on technology and support personnel their personal and professional
Need for encryption and defensible online persona As figure 1 illustrates, the
Constantly changing cyber landscape risk for negative personal and
Shortage of computer forensic examiners professional outcomes is deter-
mined by the frequency, dura-
Unusual time demands of online chat tion, type, and intensity of ex-
Interjurisdictional cooperation and coordination posure to disturbing images or
Potential for developing a false sense of safety stressors; the perceived control
or security over the source of the stress or
distress; and the coping strate-
gies an individual possesses.6

22 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 26 12/17/2008 2:40:10 PM
Investigators commonly report Figure 1. Susceptibility to Stress Factors
that the type of exposure often
proves critical in determining
their response. Live-action, Type or
webcam feeds represent the Intensity
most disturbing content, fol-
lowed by video with audio, Perceived
video without audio, and still Control
pictures.7 The age of the vic-
tim also plays a key part, with
younger victims (i.e., those
under the age of 3) posing the
Risk Coping
greatest risk. Strategies
The application of adaptive,
proactive coping strategies that
enhance the sense of perceived
control over the exposure can
help mitigate these risks.8 For
instance, many investigators support (material and moral) their duties, including exposure
report that they scan pictures by to shield them against adverse to some sample images, prior to
focusing on the extent to which outcomes. their assignment can maximize
these meet evidentiary stan- Implementing organization- the effectiveness of the inves-
dards, not on the face or feel- al safeguards also may mitigate tigative team. Many agencies
ings of the victim. Some limit the hazards posed to high-risk require this job preview before
the length of time each day or investigators. Research on or during specialized training
the number of consecutive days police trauma, together with devoted to the practical, techni-
that they spend viewing images. informal surveys of personnel cal, and legal intricacies inher-
Imposing emotional distance engaged in child pornography ent in this high-risk assignment.
and compartmentalizing their investigations, has suggested Enhancing this initial, basic
response to such disturbing con- that membership in a cohesive training with ongoing mentor-
tent can prove effective in buff- and supportive investigative ship, advanced instruction,
ering investigators against ad- team constitutes the single best and conference attendance can
verse outcomes associated with buffer against work-related prove critical to building com-
“caring too much.” Although stress. The existence of such a petence and resilience in new
both healthy and warranted, team depends on widespread investigators. Finally, all inves-
these strategies, however, often organizational support for the tigators must have the option of
fall victim to the demands of activity and the assignment of transferring to an alternative as-
obtaining and executing search supervisors who grasp the com- signment without penalty as the
warrants and preparing for trial. plexity of the work and provide need arises. Although this or-
As such, agencies should view consistent and meaningful case ganizational safeguard presents
these periods as times of height- or file review. Selecting experi- a clear staffing challenge and
ened risk and afford investiga- enced volunteers who have the requires delicate handling by
tors all available resources and benefit of a realistic preview of managers, it represents a critical

January 2009 / 23

72397.indd 23 11/27/2008 1:44:48 AM
step in reducing psychological is normal, or typical, for that In the case of burnout,
or professional casualties. person. All of these warning investigators experience ex-
signs constitute normal reac- haustion of body, mind, and
Observing Common tions to the abnormal experi- motivation due to exposure to
Stress Reactions ences that all law enforcement prolonged and unresolved work
Even with diligent appli- officers routinely encounter and stress or frustration. Burnout
cation of these coping strate- should be sources of concern is particularly common among
gies, child exploitation and only when they linger or begin police and other types of em-
pornography investigators may to interfere with an individual’s ployees who face work overload
experience signs and symptoms daily functioning, relationships, and who perceive a lack of con-
of stress, burnout, vicarious or health. trol over organizational issues,

trauma, or compassion fatigue insufficient rewards, unfairness,
at some point in their careers.9 decreased sense of camaraderie,
Given that many feel called to or value conflict due to their job
the work, voice a firm unwill- situation.11
ingness to “abandon” the vic- The stressors By contrast, vicarious
tims by changing assignments, unique to child traumatization involves internal
and grow numb to the strains changes in core beliefs, identity,
exploitation and needs and wants, relationships,
inherent in this unique activ-
ity, their families, colleagues,
pornography cases and view of others as a result of
chaplains, and managers emerge add to the long list of repeated exposure to traumatic
as crucial sources of support, acute and chronic... material.12 Whether temporary
monitoring, and feedback. In demands commonly or permanent, these changes are
many instances, investigators associated with intrinsically linked to trauma

fail to recognize the emotional, exposure and not to any organi-
attitudinal, behavioral, physical, zational or personal failure. For
and spiritual changes that have child exploitation and pornog-
overtaken them or may feel raphy investigators, vicarious
helpless or ashamed to admit traumatization may significantly
these effects. In such cases, As table 2 illustrates, law impact their parenting practices
external supports are critical enforcement personnel may ex- or style due to shifts in their
to identifying and averting the perience a range of reactions in beliefs about the trustworthi-
chronic, negative outcomes response to short- and long-term ness of others (e.g., coaches
(e.g., divorce, estrangement exposure to stress and strain in or babysitters) or the level of
from family and friends, job the course of their professional perceived threat in the world.
turnover, or health crises) that and personal lives. These signs Finally, compassion fatigue,
may result from a prolonged and symptoms may reflect the sometimes referred to as
stress reaction. adverse impact of transient, secondary traumatic stress,
While table 2 summarizes short-lived stressors or of more entails a state of significant
many of the common signs,10 serious and long-standing is- tension and preoccupation with
stress reactions are unique, and sues, such as burnout, vicarious victims’ suffering that mirrors
individual responses simply traumatization, or compassion the symptoms commonly asso-
represent a deviation from what fatigue. ciated with post-traumatic stress

24 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 28 12/17/2008 1:56:47 PM
Table 2. Common Signs of Stress Among Law Enforcement Personnel
Emotions Thoughts Behaviors Work Relationships Health Spirituality
Decreased Decreased
Powerlessness concentration Impatience morale Withdrawal Shock Loss of purpose
Decreased Decreased Decreased Decreased
Anxiety self-esteem Irritability motivation intimacy Sweating self-satisfaction
Guilt Apathy Withdrawal Task avoidance Mistrust heartbeat Hopelessness
Overly focused Breathing Questioning
Anger/rage Rigidity Moodiness on detail Isolation problems meaning of life

Survivor guilt Disorientation Regression Apathy Misplaced anger Aches/pains Anger at God
Shutdown Perfectionism Sleep changes Negativity Misplaced blame Dizziness beliefs
Decreased Decreased
Numbness Minimization Nightmares appreciation Intolerance immunity Questioning God
Appetite medical
Fear Preoccupation changes Staff conflict Increased conflict problems Loss of faith
Thoughts of Increased
Helplessness harm Hypervigilance Absenteeism Overprotective skepticism
Thoughts of Accident
Sadness self-harm proneness Exhaustion
Change in
Depletion communication

Source: C.R. Figley, “Police Compassion Fatigue (PCF): Theory, Research, Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention,” in Police
Trauma: Psychological Aftermath of Civilian Combat, ed. J.M. Violanti and D. Paton (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1999).

disorder (PTSD). This clinically mirror PTSD but fail to reach anxiety disorders among child
significant stress reaction, com- formal diagnostic thresholds exploitation and pornography
monly referred to as the cost of due to the indirect nature of the investigators remain unknown,
caring, can be seen in disaster trauma exposure.13 repetitive and prolonged expo-
workers, sexual assault and Over time and in combina- sure to extremely graphic and
crisis counselors, mental health tion with other line-of-duty disturbing images of child abuse
employees, and emergency stressors, this secondary trauma and trauma clearly places them
services personnel. All frequent- exposure may result in the grad- at elevated risk and warrants
ly tend to the needs of severely ual onset of a cluster of anxiety enhanced attention and support.
traumatized and sympathetic symptoms and personal changes Research on stress reactions
victims and, in so doing, learn often described as cumulative among police and public safety
the intimate details of their suf- career traumatic stress,14 police personnel has suggested that a
fering. Repeated exposure to the and public safety complex post- range of factors may increase
trauma of the victims, in turn, traumatic stress disorder,15 or individual susceptibility to
results in physical, emotional, cop shock.16 While the inci- stress reactions.17 Specifically,
and behavioral changes that dence and prevalence of these the risk of adverse outcomes

January 2009 / 25

72397x.indd 29 12/17/2008 1:58:33 PM
appears heightened in those the cyberspace battlefield as monitor, and support traditional
with prior trauma exposure, wounded warriors. These undercover agents, the process
positive histories of unresolved anecdotal experiences, together was expanded in the late 1990s
personal issues, limited access with a growing willingness to include IINI personnel due
to social support, minimal case among investigators to ac- to their involvement in online
consultation or file review op- knowledge the stressors and undercover activities (i.e.,
portunities, inadequate prepara- strains unique to their work, online chat) and their status as
tion and training, and ongoing have led law enforcement high-risk investigators facing
personal life stressors (e.g., organizations to consider their a unique set of stressors and
chronically ill family members duty of care and the necessity of strains. Currently, IINI person-
or financial worries). tailored responses to the needs nel participate in the safeguard
of these high-risk employees. process prior to entry into their
Accepting a Duty of Care Within the FBI, investiga- assignment and at yearly inter-
Due to the rapid growth tors and support personnel vals thereafter. All are reminded
in the number of employees engaged in child exploitation of the voluntary nature of the
engaged in child exploitation and pornography investigations assignments and are queried at
and pornography investiga- as part of the Innocent Images length regarding their motiva-
tions,18 law enforcement agen- National Initiative (IINI) partic- tion for volunteering, suitability
cies have witnessed tragic ipate in the Undercover Safe- for the job, presence of po-
personal, professional, and guard Unit’s compulsory assess- tentially troubling stressors or
familial outcomes among a ment process.19 While initially habits, personal abuse or trauma
small group who emerged from developed to select, assess, histories, support systems, and
other factors relevant to their
On the basis of this infor-
mation, safeguard personnel
Defining and Differentiating render a final decision regarding
Stress Responses suitability and placement, which
Burnout: Exhaustion of the body or mind due to they communicate to the candi-
prolonged, unresolved workplace stress or conflict. date’s home office and consider
at each subsequent assessment.
Vicarious traumatization: Short- or long-term
Although involvement is com-
changes in core beliefs, identity, values, or view of
pulsory, compliance rates are
others as a result of exposure to traumatic material.
high, and participants frequently
Compassion fatigue (or secondary traumatic report it as a valuable experi-
stress): A state of heightened tension, anxiety, and ence that allows them to venti-
preoccupation with others’ suffering, sometimes late their emotions, express their
referred to as the cost of caring. frustrations, and seek feedback
from an objective third party
Source: P.J. Morrissette, The Pain of Helping: Psychological Injury not involved in their chain of
of Helping Professionals (New York, NY: Bruner Routledge, 2004). command and who truly under-
stands the nature of their work.
This positive valence is likely

26 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 30 12/17/2008 2:41:55 PM
due to clearly established limits adds to the multiple roles an initial team of 12 investiga-
of confidentiality that govern that departmental psycholo- tors, solicitors, and attorneys
these interactions; the sole focus gists and psychiatrists play; who possess considerable cred-
of safeguard personnel on the relies on a mental health- ibility among their task force
wellness of their undercover based response that may be peers by virtue of their personal
flock; and the individualized unpalatable to some; and attributes and their professional
nature of the feedback, support, experience in the arena of child
and coaching (intended to opti- relegates high-risk investi- exploitation and pornography.
mize both personal and profes- gators to a one-size-fits-all Highly knowledgeable about
sional functioning) that each support program that may or the challenges and stressors
employee receives. In addition, may not recognize or under- unique to ICAC investigations,
the willingness to staunchly stand the unique demands the team will receive ongoing
advocate for the needs of strug- placed on them.20 training on the peer support

gling IINI personnel, confront method, complemented by ad-
recalcitrant supervisors, and ministrative and clinical support
facilitate transfer and reassign- from SCLEAP members.
ment as each employee’s needs Operating much like other
dictate has cemented the cred- Research on stress peer-based assistance programs,
ibility of the safeguard process. reactions among the team can offer confidential
While the program’s police and public and voluntary nondepartmental
strength resides in its proac- safety personnel has assistance to personnel strug-
tive selection, assessment, and gling with personal or job-relat-
monitoring orientation, it is re-
suggested that a ed stressors.22 The support will
source intensive and difficult to range of factors may be informed by the recognition
replicate in financially strapped increase individual that ICAC investigators face a
law enforcement agencies. Such susceptibility to cascade of cumulative stressors
stress reactions.

organizations have attempted to common to policing and unique
identify alternative prevention to their assignment, exacerbated
and intervention approaches by repetitive exposure to dis-
that meet the needs and wants turbing images of child victims.
of their high-risk personnel. In addition, the composition of
In some cases, these efforts In response to these con- the team, wherein all members
have resulted in the referral cerns, the South Carolina Law possess unique personal and
of struggling investigators to Enforcement Assistance Pro- professional experience with
employee assistance programs gram (SCLEAP) has adapted and insight into their shared
or departmental psychologists the peer support framework21 to battles and strains, will maxi-
or psychiatrists. This method meet the needs of state and lo- mize its effectiveness with and
has received several criticisms, cal law enforcement personnel relevance to ICAC personnel.
including that it— engaged in the state’s Inter- The team will engage in proac-
lacks a proactive focus net Crimes Against Children tive outreach efforts (e.g., task
on primary prevention (ICAC) Task Force. While this force meetings and informal
of work-related stress initiative currently is in its in- social gatherings) designed
reactions; fancy, SCLEAP has assembled to enhance awareness of the

January 2009 / 27

72397.indd 27 11/27/2008 3:38:04 AM
Procedural and Organizational Safeguards and federal law enforcement
Cultivate organizational support for and value agencies. While the creation of
of investigative activity regional and federal task forces
designed to pool knowledge,
Use experienced volunteers resources, and personnel have
Offer realistic job preview dispersed these responsibilities,
Provide adequate training and support individual investigators contin-
ue to face undeniable pressures,
Conduct consistent and productive case review
strains, and stressors.
and supervision
Unique among their law
Form cohesive investigative team with adequate enforcement colleagues, child
material and personnel resources exploitation and pornography
Encourage discussion of work-related strains and investigators knowingly and
stressors with trusted confidant repeatedly expose themselves to
Proactively manage amount of time spent online or some of the most disturbing and
viewing images heinous images of child victims
to collect evidence, close inves-
Facilitate transfer to new assignment when needed tigations, and prepare for trial.
without penalty These challenges add to the
well-established list of demands
that law enforcement employees
regularly encounter and pose a
high-risk nature of ICAC in- efforts offer the special care significant risk for psychologi-
vestigations, erode resistance to and handling that high-risk cal casualties and occupational
seeking help, and build cama- investigators deserve. These dysfunction in the absence of
raderie and cohesion among programs also reflect a proac- adequate policy, procedural
ICAC members who work tive commitment to primary safeguards, training, superviso-
across the state and sometimes prevention conceptually an- ry support, and crisis prevention
bear the sole responsibility for chored in the extant knowledge and intervention programs.
these investigations in their base regarding police stress,
agencies. traumatoid states, and the chal- Endnotes
Together, these programs lenges inherent in high-risk 1
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of
represent the two ends of the investigations. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preven-
continuum of services appro- tion, Fact Sheet: Internet Crimes Against
Conclusion Children (ICAC) Task Forces. (Washing-
priate for personnel engaged ton, D.C., 2008); and Project Safe Child-
in child exploitation and The rapid growth in the hood, 2008; http://www.projectsafechild-
pornography investigations. investigation of online child
Given the unique demands exploitation and pornography 2
J.M. Violanti and F. Aron, “Police
cases over the past decade has Stressors: Variations in Perception Among
placed upon these employees
Police Personnel,” Journal of Criminal
and the undeniable challenges placed a new group of material, Justice 23, no. 3 (1995): 287-294.
and strains that they face as a technological, legal, and per- 3
Y. Jewkes and C. Andrews, “Policing
result of their work, these sonnel burdens on local, state, the Filth: The Problems of Investigating

28 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 32 12/17/2008 2:43:35 PM
Online Child Pornography in England and 9
Marshall; C.R. Figley, “Police Com- Psychological Aftermath of Civilian
Wales,” Policing and Society 15, no. 1 passion Fatigue (PCF): Theory, Research, Combat, ed. J.M. Violanti and D. Paton
(2005): 42-62. Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention,” (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas,
Violanti and Aron; J.M. Violanti, in Police Trauma: Psychological After- 1999), 65-77.
“Operationalizing Police Stress Manage- math of Civilian Combat, ed. J.M. Violanti 18
U.S. Department of Justice, Fact
ment: A Model,” in Police Psychology: and D. Paton (Springfield, IL: Charles Sheet: Internet Crimes Against Children
Operational Assistance, ed. J.T. Reese and C. Thomas, 1999), 37-64; I.T. VanPatten (ICAC) Task Forces. For example, since
J.M. Horn (Washington, DC: U.S. Depart- and T.W. Burke, “Critical Incident Stress the inception of the Internet Crimes
ment of Justice, 1988), 423-435; and E.K. and the Child Homicide Investigator,” Against Children Task Force Program in
Marshall, “Cumulative Career Traumatic Homicide Studies 5, no. 2 (2001): 131-152; 1998, the number of ICAC task forces
Stress (CCTS): A Pilot Study of Traumatic and J.M. Violanti and A. Gehrke, “Police has grown to 59, including 1,800 affiliate
Stress in Law Enforcement,” Journal of Trauma Encounters: Precursors of Com- agencies and the full-time equivalent in-
Police and Criminal Psychology 21, no. 1 passion Fatigue,” International Journal of volvement of nearly 300 police personnel.
(2006): 62-71. Emergency Mental Health 6, no. 2 (2004): Their combined efforts resulted in 2,400
S.R. Band and D.C. Sheehan, “Man- 75-80. arrests and more than 10,500 forensic
aging Undercover Stress: The Supervisor’s 10
Figley. examinations of seized computers in fiscal
Role,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 11
C. Alexander, “Police Psychological year 2007. Per M.A. Mason’s statement
February 1999, 1-6; N.S. Hibler, “The Burnout and Trauma,” in Police Trauma: before the House Judiciary Committee,
Care and Feeding of Undercover Agents,” Psychological Aftermath of Civilian October 17, 2007, approximately 240 FBI
in Police Psychology into the 21st Century, Combat, ed. J.M. Violanti and D. Paton agents participate in investigations under
ed. Neil S. Hibler, I. Kurke Martin, and El- (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, the Innocent Images National Initiative, a
len M. Scrivner, (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence 1999), 54-64. program that has resulted in over 15,000
Erlbaum Associates, Inc.,1995), 299-317; 12
K.M. Palm, M.A. Polusny, and V.M. investigations and 4,800 convictions since
L. Miller, “Undercover Policing: A Psy- Follette, “Vicarious Traumatization: Poten- its inception in 1996.
chological and Operational Guide,” Jour- tial Hazards and Interventions for Disaster 19
M.S. Krause, “Addressing the Needs
nal of Police and Criminal Psychology 21, and Trauma Workers,” Prehospital and of Undercover Employees: A Practical
no. 2 (2006): 1-24; and I.J. Vasquez and Disaster Medicine 19, no. 1 (2004): 73-78; Approach,” FBI Law Enforcement
S.A. Kelly, “Management’s Commitment and R.B. Thomas and J.P. Wilson, “Issues Bulletin, August 2008, 1-8.
to the Undercover Operative: A Contempo- and Controversies in the Understanding 20
F.G. Dowling, B. Genet, and G.
rary View,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, and Diagnosis of Compassion Fatigue, Moynihan, “A Confidential Peer-Based
February 1989, 3-12. Vicarious Traumatization, and Secondary Assistance Program for Police Officers,”
Although not included, factors related Traumatic Stress Disorder,” International Psychiatric Services 56 (2005): 870-871.
to temperament or personality also could Journal of Emergency Mental Health 6, 21
Dowling, Genet, and Moynihan;
shape an investigator’s susceptibility to no. 2 (2004): 81-92. International Association of Chiefs of
adverse outcomes. The five factors high- 13
P.J. Morrissette, The Pain of Helping: Police/IACP, Peer Support Guidelines
lighted in figure 1, however, are recog- Psychological Injury of Helping Profes- (2006);; and L.A.
nized as proximal risk determinants that sionals (New York, NY: Bruner Routledge, Morris, J.M. Morgan, and R.M. Easton,
may be reasonably addressed through pro- 2004). Development of Peer Support Programs
grammatic and organizational initiatives. 14
Marshall. in Native American and Campus Police
Personnel engaged in Innocent Images 15
D. Rudofossi, Working with Trauma- (Washington, DC: National Institute of
National Initiative (IINI) and Internet tized Police-Officer Patients (Amityville, Justice, 2001).
Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc., 22
Dowling, Genet, and Moynihan; and
forces provided this anecdotal input to 2007). Morris, Morgan, and Easton.
the author during individual conversations 16
A.R. Kates, Cop Shock: Surviving
and training sessions devoted to the issue Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (Tucson, The author thanks Dr. Stephen Band
of child exploitation and pornography. AZ: Holbrook Street Press, 1999). and Eric Skidmore for their input and
M.H. Anshel, “A Conceptual Model 17
VanPatten and Burke; Palm, Polusny, acknowledges the dedication and com-
and Implications for Coping with Stress- and Follette; and C. Stephens, N. Long, passion of the IINI and ICAC investiga-
tors who inspired this article. Readers
ful Events in Police Work,” Criminal and R. Flett, “Vulnerability to Psycho-
may direct questions on this topic to the
Justice and Behavior 27, no. 3 (2000): logical Disorder: Previous Trauma in
author at
375-400. Police Recruits,” in Police Trauma:

January 2009 / 29

72397x.indd 33 12/17/2008 2:20:16 PM
Notable Speech
I Memory
In M off Th
Who Have Fallen
By Patrick A. Mead, Ph.D.


n the center of the ancient town of Edinburgh, discount on a cell phone plan or admission to a
Scotland, a huge outpost of volcanic rock juts park. They are honored, and so they should be. We
from the earth like a ship freed from the depths. are a nation at war. We understand war. My father
A 1,000-year-old castle sits on that rock. For centu- came here and joined the U.S. Navy during the
ries, it has been the symbol of who the people were Korean War. He wanted to stand alongside you.
and, now, are. As you climb up the long mile to My son is a rifleman in the U.S. Marine Corps.
the castle gates and work your way past each suc- We know war; it is something going on “over
cessive barrier, you eventually ascend to an inner there.” But, there is another war going on. This
courtyard. One entire side of the courtyard consists war does not take place between insurgents and
of an imposing granite wall interrupted by a mas- soldiers, nor Shia and Shiite. This is a war on our
sive arch with a message in carved block letters streets, a war for the hearts, minds, bodies, and fu-
that reads, “To the glory of God, and in memory of tures of our people. Insidious, creeping, moral rot
Scots who fell.” It is the war memorial of a nation. has entered our nation, streets, schools, and media.
As you walk through that towering arch, you find The siren call to mindless self-worship has been
the names of Scottish soldiers who have fallen in heard, seducing our people to lawlessness, apathy,
one of the scores of Britain’s wars of empire. There and worse until their cry mimics that of the Roman
is one red book after another, perched on stone masses that craved nothing but the lack of respon-
pulpits, approached in silence by those who wish sibility, effort, and discipline. Wanting food and
to pray, point to a name, and remember. entertainment, they cried, “Bread and the games!”
In every Highland village, men answered the So, Rome sent more and more into the Colos-
call to war, and each village has a memorial of its seum and passed out more and more money from
own that stands quietly in the center—a simple government coffers, hoping that the people would
stone, raised high, with names of men long gone become peaceful, productive citizens in return. It
carved upon it. There are many, many names for did not work then. It is not working now.
World War I. Fewer names are present for World In this war for our souls, a new kind of warrior
War II, and there are almost none after that. The emerges that often receives far less respect and
villages had emptied themselves of young men and public recognition than those in the armed forces.
never would recover. They are not showered with glory, though they de-
In America, citizens also raise memorials to serve that honor just as much as their peers in the
the fallen. They cheer those who serve their nation, military. They live among us, not on a base. They
ask them to stand at ball games, and give them a frequently travel alone, not with a rifle squad. They

30 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397.indd 30 11/27/2008 1:45:48 AM
live in the middle of those who support them and Those whom they approach have no such rules
those who have made themselves millionaires by governing them. They have no chain of command
singing songs encouraging violence against them. to whom they must report their words, decisions,
Every morning, these citizen heroes awake and or actions. Into this lopsided contest comes the law
prepare themselves for the task at hand. They kiss enforcement officer—a symbol of peace, strength,
their spouse and children goodbye, reminding the and discipline in a world that gives lip service to
children to listen to their mother or father, do their such things but bears no burden to live out what
homework, and, in other words, be good. They they say they believe.
strap on a gun and a badge, and, if the department’s These everyday heroes risk death by paint-
budget is sufficient, they pull on body armor un- ing themselves as targets every time they don the
der their uniform shirt, a silent acknowledgement uniform, drawing the wrath of the extremists, the
of the dangerous task before them. They climb wild, the belligerent, the angry, the paranoid, the
into a car that has just been vacated by another of evil, and even of some in our media or popular cul-
their ilk—a brother or sister. They now are tasked ture. They take the abuse and shake it off, knowing
with keeping the peace and bringing order to the that they will return again tomorrow to these same
streets. They have an awesome responsibility on streets.
their shoulders, more responsibility than author- Except, some do not return. Some cannot.
ity. They must use persuasion, wise words, polite While engaged in actions to make our streets safe
speech, and guidance. They are citizens, friends, and our neighborhoods peaceful, they were run
and neighbors. They are one of us. down or gunned down. They—the best of us—
were taken from us. Perhaps, their murderer was
drunk, on drugs, mentally ill, or confused. While
Dr. Mead, senior pastor of such things matter to newspapers and televi-
the Rochester Church of
Christ in Rochester Hills,
sion, they do not matter to the wives, husbands,
Michigan, delivered this sons, and daughters left behind. We comfort their
speech on May 15, 2008, families by telling them the truth: the one who was
during National Police
Memorial Week to honor taken was the greatest among us. For we know that
officers in Washtenaw those whose names are written here have elevated
County who have died their lives by giving them away. By losing their
in the line of duty.
lives in service to us, they have given us our lives.
Because they got between evil and us and paid the
ultimate price, we are here in the sunshine of a
spring day.
We are here today because of dead men. Dead
men and women fought for our rights and freedom,
crafted our laws, and drafted our Constitution.
Because men are dying in fields far away, we can
shop, eat, and play. And, because men and women
are in patrol cars, I can be assured that our roads are
safe and people will obey the traffic lights, drive on
the right side of the road, and keep their speed to
a reasonable standard. I can travel safely because
others are willing to get between me and those

January 2009 / 31

72397.indd 31 11/27/2008 1:45:58 AM
who would break our laws and endanger even my something many of us would do. But, to put your
simple commute. Others of their tribe make sure life in jeopardy for someone who shrieks abuse
I am not burglarized, robbed, or defrauded. They at you and waves a weapon at you, who would
toil endlessly to find those who would take advan- do that? Jesus Christ, those serving in the U.S.
tage of their fellow citizens. They hunt down those Armed Forces, and the men and women of law
who sexually abuse our children and remove those enforcement. Those who wear the badge are due our
evil persons from our communities. They stand highest accolades, prayers, support, and thanks.
between our children and those who would addict Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this—
them for their own monetary pleasure. While they than to lay his life down for a friend.” The names
do this, they hear complaints. They rarely get dis- on this memorial bear witness to the fact that such
counts at amusement parks. If they accept a free love has not perished from the earth. The skirl
cup of coffee, someone always lurks nearby, ready of the bagpipes and the rows of men in uniform
to pounce with accusations and slander. stand in stark contrast to a world pathologically
But, they do it anyway. Why? As my son self-centered. Today, we honor those who were
grew up, I often told him that in my experience, the best of us. We come to honor those to whom
only three entities would die for a stranger, even honor is due and the memory of those who
a stranger who hates them. Dying for a friend is have fallen.

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32 / FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

72397x.indd 36 12/17/2008 2:05:01 PM
The Bulletin Notes

Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each
challenge freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions
warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize
those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.

While on patrol, Officer Charles Gallo of the Linden, New Jersey,
Police Department witnessed an altercation between two individuals several
blocks away. He rushed to the location to find a man with an 8-inch butcher
knife attacking a woman. Officer Gallo exited his vehicle, drew his service
weapon, and commanded the man to drop the knife and step away from the
victim. After securing the suspect and calling for assistance, Officer Gallo
began performing first aid on the woman, who had multiple stab wounds to
the head, arms, and torso. She was transported to a regional trauma center and
underwent surgery. Because of Officer Gallo’s actions, the victim survived
Officer Gallo
this terrible ordeal.

Officer Jimmy Hecht of the Waterford, Wisconsin,
Police Department was off duty at home when a frenzied
neighbor came to his door and explained that her niece
had drowned in her backyard pool. Immediately, Officer
Hecht ran to the scene and found the 1-year-old girl on
the ground next to the pool. She was bloated, had no
pulse, was not breathing, and did not respond. Officer
Hecht began chest compressions to clear the water from
the child’s lungs and stomach, and she began to gasp for
air. Fellow Officer Paul Maccari, who was patrolling
Officer Hecht Officer Maccari
in the area, arrived on the scene, turned the girl’s head to
the side, and cleared her mouth of regurgitated food and fluids to clear her airway. She was
transported to the hospital and released the next day with no permanent injuries.

Bulletin Notes

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin seeks nominations for the Bulletin Notes. Nominations should be based on either the
rescue of one or more citizens or arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short
write-up (maximum of 250 words), a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking
officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions should be sent to the Editor, FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, FBI Academy,
Law Enforcement Communication Unit, Hall of Honor, Quantico, VA 22135.

72397.indd inBC 11/27/2008 1:46:28 AM
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Patch Call

The city of Craig, Colorado, is known for its The patch of the Acworth, Georgia, Police
abundant mining, agriculture, and recreation. The Department highlights the official city logo. The
patch of its police department features depictions gas streetlight represents Acworth’s roots as a
of the activities and beauty of the surrounding railroad city during the Civil War, and the
area. sailboat depicts the quality of life enjoyed by
area citizens.

72397.indd BC 11/27/2008 2:23:56 AM