Law Enforcement Tools for Supporting Veterans in Transition

Funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, this 8-hour course addresses recent "converging conditions" for returning veterans experiencing stress-related disorders and challenges readjusting to civilian life. The course extrapolates these conditions to identify increasing situations whereby law enforcement personnel will be called upon to respond to veterans in transition whose military training and combat experience present unique challenges. The course identifies causal factors of military veteran stress-related conditions to provide focus areas that psychologists identify as underlying themes in many veteran related EDPs (emotionally disturbed persons). The course presents proven techniques to create dialogue, rapport, and common reference points for application of communication, as well as provides tools for supporting veterans in transition. The course focuses on de-escalation principles that may be used to prevent unnecessary use of force in these situations. Officer safety principles are emphasized throughout the course to address the increased risk that may be encountered by law enforcement personnel.

Course Goal and Objectives:

The overall goal of this training program is to equip law enforcement first responders with awareness of and tactics for encountering crisis situations resulting from veteran reintegration.
At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the "converging conditions" for returning veterans indicating higher risk for stress-related disorders and possible difficulties readjusting to civilian life.
    • Identify wartime stressors that active military experience.
    • Identify stress-related disorders that are occurring among veterans today.
    • Understand the stigma that can be associated with psychological health problems.
    • Identify factors that discourage soldiers from seeking out psychological health services.
    • Identify the most serious problems that veterans today are experiencing after their return home.
    • Identify local, state, federal and private support resources available to veterans.
  • Acquire a working knowledge of Post-Traumatic Stress.
    • Differentiate between mental health, mental health issues, and mental illness.
    • Discuss the definition of EDP.
    • Describe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
    • Differentiate between Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Post-Traumatic Stress EDP.
  • Apply de-escalation tactics and other tools when encountering veterans in transition situations.
    • Describe EDP response principles.
    • Identify response principles that have proven to be successful for veterans in transition.


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