This book is written to improve the lives of police officers, especially those who doubt or are unaware of the negative impact of emotions on physical and mental health, and the sometimes dire consequences of stress on job performance. The book’s focus is to encourage officers to acknowledge emotions as a major contributor to their success in law enforcement. The author identifies emotional intelligence as a powerful concept proven by psychologists and other experts to help law enforcement personnel cope with, control, and manage their emotions both on and off the job, providing detailed information specifically targeted toward this population. The more officers understand that mastery over emotions is essential to their job success, the more effort they will expend to achieve this mastery and practice it when executing their job functions. In this way, the negative consequences of emotions for officers can be minimized or completely avoided.
The author explains how the unique environment of policing, in which negative job experiences are rampant, sets officers up for chronic stress, putting them in one of the highest risk groups for depression and suicide. He then describes three major models of emotional intelligence and delineates their similarities and differences. This section is followed by a review of empirical research studies supporting EI as a predictor of work performance. The author then relates EI further to law enforcement, concentrating on its benefits to organization, teamwork, and self-regulation. The book concludes with a discussion of how EI is measured and whether one can increase one’s emotional intelligence level through training.
The author’s other reason for writing this book is to sincerely encourage officers to evaluate their own level of emotional intelligence. Once familiar with the competencies of EI, the reader should be able to conduct an informal self-assessment and determine areas in need of improvement. (Online resources for formal assessment are provided in the last chapter as well.) It is the author’s belief that any police officer seeking positive ways to curb stress and manage emotional experiences in the line of duty will no doubt find this book to be useful and valuable. It fills a gap in current law enforcement training programs, which emphasize physical and logistical skills but neglect to include the emotional component without which all the others are less effective.