Dr. Kutner is a Board-Certified Neuropsychologist who performs Neuropsychological Evaluation (Fitness-for-Duty Exams) in both
New Jersey and Southeast Florida. Dr. Kutner has been a Police Physician with the Fort Lee, NJ Police Department since 1989. He has been reappointed in this position for the year 2023. Dr. Kutner has extensive experience performing Fitness-for-Duty Evaluations for Law Enforcement for more than 25 years. His experience includes evaluating officers from local Police Departments, Corrections Departments, County Prosecutor Offices, NJ State Police, as well as Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.
Law Enforcement Officers, along with Firefighters and EMS require intact cognitive skills to perform the essential tasks of their job. Cognitively, officers utilize reasoning, memory, language, and visual-spatial skills in carrying out the duties as either a patrol officer or supervising officer i.e., lieutenant, captain, and chief. There are numerous medical conditions which can affect an officer’s ability to carry out the essential tasks required in his or her position. Some of these medical conditions such as a head injury or concussion frequently occur in the line of duty in motor vehicle accidents or while arresting individuals. Head injuries also frequently occur outside of the job from sports participation or car accidents which occur off duty. Brain injuries can temporarily or permanently affect a Law Enforcement Officer's ability to carry out their duties.
Traumatic Brain Injuries are divided into mild, moderate, and severe. Concussions are the most frequent type of injury and are known as Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. While most (85-90%) of Law Enforcement officers who sustain them experience complete recovery, some officers have persisting cognitive problems. It is critical for officers sustaining a concussion, either on the job or off duty, to allow the concussion to resolve prior to returning to duty. In some cases, officers may be able to return to light duty while their concussive symptoms are resolving.
Officers can develop problems with reasoning and memory from numerous other medical conditions including stroke and multiple sclerosis. In addition, brain damage from head trauma or stroke can affect an officer’s emotional ability. Known as neurobehavioral impairment, TBI induced problems can include impulsivity or agitation which is detrimental to effectively carrying out the duties in law enforcement.
The Gold Standard for evaluating a Law Enforcement’s cognitive Fitness-for-Duty is the Neuropsychological Evaluation. Reasoning and memory cannot be measured through neuroimaging procedures such as MRI or CT Scans. Neuropsychological Evaluations are non-invasive and are typically completed in 3-4 hours.