Vincent B. Van Hasselt, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, President’s Distinguished Professor, and Director of the First Responder Research and Training Program at Nova Southeastern University. He received his Masters and Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and completed his Internship at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Dr. Van Hasselt’s research and clinical interests are in the areas of psychological assessment, prevention, and intervention with first responders. He has served as a lecturer and consultant to the FBI’s Behavioral Science and Crisis Negotiation Units, and has been invited on numerous occasions to provide lectures on critical incident stress, trauma, and stress management to the FBI National Academy. Dr. Van Hasselt is also co-developer of the Bureau’s Global Hostage-Taking Research and Development program that focused on motives and methods of hostage-takers. He is currently collaborating with the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the U.S. Marshals Service on the National Survey of Mental Health in First Responders. This is the most comprehensive investigation conducted to date examining the prevalence of a wide range of psychological problems (e.g., anxiety, depression, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide risk) across more than a dozen first responder groups, including: police and corrections officers, fire rescue personnel, emergency dispatchers, and crime scene investigators.
Dr. Van Hasselt has published over 250 journal articles, books, and book chapters, many focusing on mental health issues in first responders. His more recent publications have focused on dissemination of Behavioral Health, Peer Support, and Stress Reduction (Optimizing Performance) programs he and his students have developed specifically to meet the needs of first responders. Further, he is co-editor of the Handbook of Behavioral Criminology published by Springer in 2017, and is Editor for the series, Springer Briefs in Psychology: Behavioral Criminology. Further, he is co-editor of the Handbook of Behavioral Criminology (2017) and First Responder Mental Health: A Clinician’s Guide to be published by Springer in the fall of 2023.
Dr. Van Hasselt attended the Broward County Police Academy and is a certified Law Enforcement Officer with the Plantation, Florida Police Department. In this role, he has served as a road patrol officer and member of the Field Force Unit. Further, he co-founded the Department’s Crisis Response (Hostage Negotiation) Team (CRT), where he continues to serve as member and Training Coordinator. In addition, Dr. Van Hasselt is Clinical Director of the Critical Incident Stress Management and Peer Support teams. He is the recipient of the Department’s Distinguished Performance Award for his contributions to CRT, and a Unit Citation for assistance with law enforcement agencies following the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Massacre in Parkland, Florida. Dr. Van Hasselt has also been an Instructor for Broward County’s Crisis Intervention Team training for law enforcement since its inception nearly 20 years ago.