officer involved shooting (and other serious incidents) evaluation

These evaluations are conducted in line with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (2018) Guidelines for Conducting Mental Health Evaluations after Officer-Involved Shootings. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 2.0 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. After introductions, the evaluee typically completes 1.0 hours of psychological testing. This testing includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3). The evaluee also completes a history questionnaire. After testing is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The interview primarily involves questions relating to the officer-involved incident and the officer’s emotional responses to the incident. The officer is screened for PTSD and related disorders. Afterwards, all officers are provided psycho-education about common responses to trauma, how to cope with these responses, and how to determine if they need additional help (counseling, medications, etc.). They are also given a list of referrals if they choose to voluntarily seek those services at the time of the evaluation or at any time in the future.

After the evaluation, the referral source will receive a letter indicating that the officer attended the evaluation. The letter will also indicate if a fitness for duty evaluation is recommended or not. Most of the time (approximately 90%) a fitness for duty evaluation is not needed. However, if a fitness for duty evaluation is indicated, it will need to be completed by a different evaluator. We can make a referral for this follow up evaluation if needed. To protect the officer’s confidentiality, no other information about the evaluation will be provided. However, a report will be written and a full copy of that report will be kept on file at Cleveland Psychological Testing should it be needed in the future.

The referral source will typically receive the letter confirming the meeting within 24 hours and no later than two business days after the evaluation, unless additional information needs to be obtained before completing the evaluation (e.g., treatment records).

Ideally, CPT’s mental health evaluation should be completed within one week of officer-involved shooting or other serious incident to provide the officer mental health resources as soon as possible. After the evaluation, Cleveland Psychological Testing will follow up with the officer with a phone call at the following time points: approximately one month after the incident, approximately four months after the incident, and shortly before the one-year anniversary of the incident. The purpose of this call is to check if the officer may be experiencing a delayed onset of PTSD symptoms and, if so, to provide the officer referrals for voluntary mental health treatment. The referral source will receive a letter notifying them that contact was attempted at these time points, but no additional information will be provided (again, to protect the officer’s privacy).