All people experience stress, and for those in public safety, individual stressors can be compounded by a variety of factors. In addition to the stress employees experience at work, their personal life and support system are likely also contributing factors. Educating yourself to the signs, and symptoms caused by stress can help you manage your body’s physicological response. Police officers often receive harsh criticism from the media and scant graditude from the public they protect and serve. This is why burnout among law enforcement officers is so prevalent. Police have too much to do and not enough time to do their job. Crime and calls for police service are increasing incessantly, but resources and time to do the job are not increasing accordingly. Police officers must do impossible tasks and meet unrealistic deadlines in the worst of working conditions. Officers suffering burnout often don’t see the temporary nature of their feelings nor the need for support. A concrete way to prevent burnout is to set realistic goals for yourself. Seek people to whom you can talk, take care of yourself physically and mentally, get enough sleep, and leave the job precinct when your shift ends.
Constructive and deconstructive behavior both can help you learn and gain experience while on the job. Constructive behavior has a balanced focus on organizational outcomes and the people who are going to deliver those outcomes. It is also focused on organizational and individual learning. Constructive behavior is based on realistic achievement and the belief that everyone’s effort makes a difference and mistakes are always seen as a learning opportunity. The individual grows and the organization prospers during this learning process, rather than squandering resources in misguided attempts to cover up mistakes. Constructive behavior also sees people acting with integrity, supporting each other and building well-balanced and effective relationships. This behavior relies...
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