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sector: Comparing the linear, non-linear and interaction effects of working
Resources For CMRJ202 Stress Management for Law Enforcement.
(2018). Job stress in the law
National Institute of Justice. (n.d.). Causes of officer stress and fatigue. Retrieved from https:
Stress can contribute
to emotional issues for all officers. According to Job stress in the law enforcement sector, some research implies that
the suicide rate for police officers is higher than other groups. Most researchers
report abnormally high rates of divorce among police as well. Some may state that
researchers have embellished the divorce rate statistics among police; however,
interview surveys prove that police stress lowers the quality of family life. A
bulk of officers interviewed show that police work hinders non-police
friendships, obstructs the scheduling of family social events, and produces a poor
image in the eye of the public. Additionally, officers tend to bring their work
stress home, and spouses are concerned about officers’ safety. Regular studies
do not prove that police suffer from remarkably high rates of alcoholism,
although subsidiary research has recognized a relationship between high job
stress and excessive drinking.
Race and gender are
also significant stressors. Women and officers of color are more likely to face
censure from fellow officers, family and friends for entering police work. Administrators,
colleagues, and the public question women officers’ ability to handle the
emotional and physical demands of police work, even though research shows women
are more than capable. The need to “prove themselves” to male officers and to society
creates a major stressor for women officers.
The criminal justice
system can contribute to stress. Frequently appearing in court can hinder police
work, time off, and even sleeping schedules. Fighting for territory between
agencies, court decisions inhibiting discretion, superficial clemency of the
courts, and release of criminals on bail, probation, or parole are also stressors.
Further stress comes from the seeming lack of support and undesirable opinions toward
police from the greater public. Stress also comes from one-sided and/or disparaging
news accounts of incidents involving police such as the multiple police
shootings that have occurred over the recent years.
Rules and regulations within the organization, which are out
of the officers’ control, can be stressors. One-officer patrol is a stressful situation
because this presents a reduced sense of safety. An internal Affairs investigation
creates the feeling of being watched and creates a lack of trust, even off-duty.
Officers often feel they have fewer rights than the criminals they take into
custody. No recognition for good job performance, poor training, and too much
paperwork can also lead to police stress.
Not being able to complete cases or obtain
Excess to a gun, even off-duty.
The need to ‘hold back’ emotions.
Frequent contact with people in pain or
The duty to protect lives.
Monotony of work which alternates with the need
for sudden attentiveness and militarized energy.
Health and safety concerns.
Police stress results from several
aspects of the job. For example, changes in body rhythms from monthly shift
rotation lower output. The change from a day shift to a graveyard shift not
only necessitates biological modification but also obscures officers’ personal
lives. Role conflicts between police work—protecting and serving, enforcing the
law, and advocating ethical standards—and personal duties as spouse, parent,
and colleague act as stressors (Resources For CMRJ202 Stress Management for Law
Enforcement, 2018). Other stressors on the job and personal include:
Long-term stress can cause anxiety, depression, or
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a psychological disorder marked
by an inability to be intimate, sleep disorders, frequent nightmares, increased
feelings of guilt and re-experiencing the traumatic event (National Institute
of Justice, n.d.). For law enforcement personnel, stress can also build up
fatigue to the point that decision-making is compromised and officers cannot
accurately protect themselves or citizens. For police personnel there are two
factors that can lead to stress and fatigue; work-related and personal.
January 3, 2018
Week 2 Forum