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Stress anthe Police Officer
Describe each of the four categories of stress symptoms forpolice 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 thedepartment? What strategies can management use to deal with the problem ofstress in the department or among officers? Do you think that the stress feltby police officers is higher than that felt within other types oforganizations? Why or why not?
Our discussionfirst then the individuals response need to tell the bad and good of post
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Thefour categories faced by officers are external, organization, personal, andoperational stresses.
Externalstress is stress produced by real life threats and dangers to the officers.These threats happen outside of the office and on the streets. Things likedeath threats, car and foot pursuits, and physical altercations.
Organizationalstress is produced by the structural elements of the quasi-military style whichmost agencies are based. This stress comes from within our organization and isrelated to the constant adjustment of changing duties and shifts, the oddworking hours, always working holidays and special events or missing out onfamily activities due to work, and the strict discipline imposed on us.
Personalstress is produced by the interpersonal relationships with in a policeorganization. Things like trusting and getting along with our fellow officersand shift partners. The stress of spending 8-12 hours with someone you do notlike or cannot get along with is a big one. We all have that one person that wework with who rubs us wrong and in this line of work you have the thought inthe back of your mind can I really count on this person to have my back ifthings go bad.
Lastis operational stress which is produced by the constant and daily confrontationwith tragedies and issues which you cannot change. Some of these tragedies aredealing with derelicts, criminals, mentally disturbed or ill, constant victims,homeless individuals, uncooperative victims and drug addicted. Another area is dealingwith engaging in dangerous activity and putting our lives on the line toprotect a public who are unappreciative and unsupportive. Add to that the factthat we are legally liable for the actions performed on duty who wouldn’t bestressed right.
Ourhealth is put a great risk from a lack of sleep to high blood pressure and pooreating habits. The stress causes weight gain along with a host of other healthproblems. We have a hard time un-stressing and our families do not understandwhat we go through every day. This in turn makes home life difficult for bothus and our family members. So we become more stressed and take it back to workwith us it is a vicious cycle that has negative effects on the officer.
Administrationhas to encourage the officer to use their vacation time and get away from thejob to unwind. Also they can encourage things like physical exercise and evengroup activities like recreational sports to help get the officers mind off thejob.
Ido think we have a higher stress level than other civil jobs. I think that allemergency services are that way to a point because of the job we do.
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