Mental Health

sec_arr Police Physician’s Initial Assessment

Police Physician’s Initial Assessment

The role of the police physician is to explore the following:

  • LEO’s behavior and state of physical and mental health
  • coordinate with appropriate health care providers to clarify the diagnosis, prognosis, and implications for fitness for duty
  • capacity to perform physical, emotional, and cognitive functions of law enforcement work
  • evaluate for medication/treatment adverse effects, physical illness(es), cognitive disorders, and substance use disorders

If after initial review, the suspicion for an impairing mental health condition is substantiated, the police physician should recommend modified duty until the evaluation has been completed. The police physician’s assessment may require consultation with the LEO’s personal health care provider. If indicated, referral to a doctoral-level licensed mental health provider, acceptable to the police physician, who understands the functions and demands of police work and is familiar with fitness guidelines from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) should be undertaken (see Appendix B).

The medical evaluation consists of the following elements:

  • suspicion of a significant mental health disorder, the reason for referral
  • recognition of impairment due to a mental health disorder
  • assessment
  • recommendations regarding duty status, work restrictions and follow-up