Is police work a stressful job? Is it stressful when you are making over one hundred thousand dollars a year, as are some officers? What is the home life like of a police officer? What are the occupational and social stresses that an officer must deal with? What dangers do officers deal with every time they put on their shield? What must they give up in life, when they decide they want to cross the “blue line”? Over the next ten pages or so, I am going to tackle these areas as well as many others, while I try to portray the stresses of being a police officer.
Some people may feel that even though police officers have probably the toughest job in the country, that they do not get stressed out, and it is not brought into their home life. However I personally feel, that if the job is too stressful, then the officer in question may not be able to do the job up to his or her potential. Now, if the officer is not able to fully do the job up to his or her potential, then we as citizens are not as safe and secure as we should be. Many officers have the stress of marriage and kids, poor work hours, and poor working conditions because of the areas that they work in. They must deal with citizens who are not always up to code, when it comes to doing the right thing. Officers have to deal with being berated by people who do not necessarily view them as an authority figure. All of these extenuating circumstances can lead a person, in any occupation, to become stressed, but a police officer has to deal with this everyday.
While doing the research for this paper, I was able to find a broad array of articles ranging from the divorce rates of police officers, to the suicide rate of police officers, which grew tremendously from the nineteen eighties through today. I was able to find one particular article that discussed the stresses of being undercover. I was also fortunate enough, to have spoken with my cousin’s fiancé, who is also an undercover officer (although I’ll try not to divulge the specifics of his work). There were articles on how the danger of policing is increasing today to what it is like to actually be a law enforcement officer.
There are people who feel that law enforcement officers are not embraced by the community, but have to admit that their task is difficult. Laurence miller said, “Police officers regularly deal with the most violent, impulsive, predatory members of society” (www.aaets.org/article87.html) He also went on to discuss the stress level of their job, and how they are “more reluctant to talk to outsiders or to show weakness in front of their peers” (www.aaets.org/article87.html).
Law enforcement is a difficult field to get into. You have to make many sacrifices when you join the force. There are friends that you have to give up and holidays that you will miss. You will miss nights out with friends and possibly miss your kids birthday. A lot of people leave nice office jobs with no risk or pressure, where they work in a stress free environment. They get thrown right into the fray, doing things they would have never imagined. They go out there and they protect us. They do the things we do not want to do. They keep our neighborhoods safe at night, they keep the drug dealers off the streets and they provide a sense of calming in our hearts when we see them out there doing their jobs. However, I do not think we have ever really taken a look at what goes on with them. I feel that there is a lot of stress that is put on them and I am going to prove to you, that being a police officer has a lot more stress than you could have imagined.
I stated that the job is so stressful on some officers that it breaks up their families. The national divorce rate is fifty percent. However, the divorce rate for police officers is sixty to seventy five percent (Police Stress And The Effects On Family, Sgt. Corey Haines pg.6 http://www.emich.edu/cerns/downloads/papers/PoliceStaff ) Sgt. Haines tells us that in a “twenty to...
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