Police Stress

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The situations officers face at times are extremely dangerous. It can range from responding to shootings to entering abandoned buildings to find a perpetrator who is armed and dangerous. For obvious reason this leads to officers stress. “Police officers are always ready to react. Their bodies’ response to these stressful situations is good in that it prepares them for any emergency, but the stress response takes its toll on officers’ physical and mental states (An Introduction to Policing 2005).” Police work may be one of the most stressful jobs “The American Institute of Stress ranked police work among the top ten stress producing jobs in the United States (An Introduction to Policing 2005).” Research has come up with four specific areas of stress in this field. The areas are external, organizational, personal, and operational. External stress is are the real life threats that come from situations such as the shoot out and other situations outside of the officers control usually stemming from the criminals they face each day. Organizational stress comes from within the department itself “such as constant adjustment to changing tours of duty, odd working hours, working holidays, and the strict discipline imposed on officers (An Introduction to Policing 2005).” Personal stress can be as simple as relationships with other officers in the department. Operational stress is defined in the text as Stress produced by the daily need to confront the tragedies of urban life: the need to deal with derelicts, criminals, the mentally disturbed, and the drug addicted; the need to engage in dangerous activity to protect a public that appears to be unappreciative of the police; and the constant awareness of the possibility of being legally liable for actions performed while on duty (An Introduction to Policing 2005).” All of these stresses can lead to serious affect on personal, professional and social life. As officers become hardened from the job they tend to bring the...
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