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Dec 13th, 2014
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Question description

Stress an the Police Officer
Describe each of the four categories of stress symptoms for police officers. What are the effects of police stress on officers’ health? What are the effects on the health of their families, and on the health of the department? What strategies can management use to deal with the problem of stress in the department or among officers? Do you think that the stress felt by police officers is higher than that felt within other types of organizations? Why or why not?   

Our discussion first then the individuals response need to tell the bad and good of post

The four categories faced by officers are external, organization, personal, and operational stresses.

External stress is stress produced by real life threats and dangers to the officers. These threats happen outside of the office and on the streets. Things like death threats, car and foot pursuits, and physical altercations.

Organizational stress is produced by the structural elements of the quasi-military style which most agencies are based. This stress comes from within our organization and is related to the constant adjustment of changing duties and shifts, the odd working hours, always working holidays and special events or missing out on family activities due to work, and  the strict discipline imposed on us.

Personal stress is produced by the interpersonal relationships with in a police organization. Things like trusting and getting along with our fellow officers and shift partners. The stress of spending 8-12 hours with someone you do not like or cannot get along with is a big one. We all have that one person that we work with who rubs us wrong and in this line of work you have the thought in the back of your mind can I really count on this person to have my back if things go bad.

 Last is operational stress which is produced by the constant and daily confrontation with tragedies and issues which you cannot change. Some of these tragedies are dealing with derelicts, criminals, mentally disturbed or ill, constant victims, homeless individuals, uncooperative victims and drug addicted. Another area is dealing with engaging in dangerous activity and putting our lives on the line to protect a public who are unappreciative and unsupportive. Add to that the fact that we are legally liable for the actions performed on duty who wouldn’t be stressed right.

Our health is put a great risk from a lack of sleep to high blood pressure and poor eating habits. The stress causes weight gain along with a host of other health problems. We have a hard time un-stressing and our families do not understand what we go through every day. This in turn makes home life difficult for both us and our family members. So we become more stressed and take it back to work with us it is a vicious cycle that has negative effects on the officer.

Administration has to encourage the officer to use their vacation time and get away from the job to unwind. Also they can encourage things like physical exercise and even group activities like recreational sports to help get the officers mind off the job.

I do think we have a higher stress level than other civil jobs. I think that all emergency services are that way to a point because of the job we do.

Tutor Answer

(Top Tutor) Jesca
School: Carnegie Mellon University

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