Jonesboro Police Reflect on Bloody, Stressful Week

November 17, 2003 - Posted at 4:50 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Last week, two shootings stunned the city of Jonesboro.

Police are highly trained to deal with volatile situations, but what about the emotional impact left with officers by such tragic outcomes?

A murder-suicide and another stand-off that ended in suicide were both top stories last week on K8 News.  Jonesboro police officers were on the scene for both events, and were able to keep things under control.  "It was an unusual week.  There were two individuals who had it in their mind what they wanted to do, and they did what they did and it's an unfortunate thing," said sergeant Doug Formon of the Jonesboro Police Department.

But, how stressful is it for officers to deal with the psychological impact of such unusual events?  "That type of situation doesn't happen one right after another, and it did stress them out somewhat because it was just more hours having to work, and them being back-to-back, so close together," said Formon.

Patrolman Kevin Foust was at both crime scenes and admits, it was certainly an adrenaline rush.  "It was really a hectic week for us because we were really just coming down from the event on Wednesday evening, and we had this to happen on Friday, and automatically the adrenaline gets to going again and your all ready to it was really a strange week," said Foust.

When events like this happen in the community, sometimes those most affected are the ones with the least experience.  Gregory Russell directs the Criminology program at Arkansas State University, and said, "Especially if there were any rookies that had anything to do with it...I would be more concerned even for them than I would for others."

"It's very important for us to reach out to law enforcement in the community and tell them that we understand, and that we are there to help, to get them through what will be a very, very difficult time for a while."