Law Enforcement, Crisis, Stress and the Family

Topics: Police, Constable, Police officer Pages: 8 (3042 words) Published: September 17, 2007
Law enforcement, crisis, stress, and the family
There are many professions that are stressful but none of which are more stressful then being a police officer. Day–in and day-out they are required to risk their lives for the benefit and protection of individuals and society as a whole. It is a thankless profession that more then likely will result in family turmoil and unrest. From the stress of a mass casualty situation such as 9/11 or having to use deadly force to defend yourself or someone else, there are dire consequences and repercussions that are often overlooked or wholly ignored. In this paper I will be covering many of the issues that plague the officer and his or her family. From the demanding grind of having to do shift work, to seldom being around for major holidays or birthdays. The need to balance the rigors of work and family while trying to maintain some semblance of a "normal" life as well as the constant maintenance that one needs to do in order to maintain an officer's family and support system. I will also discuss the affects that suicide and death can have on officers and their families. The causes of family turmoil and stress are many. A police officer is generally the first person to respond to a crisis, and witnesses first hand all of the evil that people can inflict on each other. As well as the devastating effects that it has on the individuals involved. There are many contributing factors that cause crisis in the police officers family. They range from having to do "shift work" that causes many disruptions in the family life and activities, to the boredom of routine patrolling and having to deal with "dregs" of society day after day. There is also the constant threat to ones life both on and off duty. The consequences of these actions are many and can range from general upheaval in the family, to divorce. Police officers typically have a 65%-75% divorce rate (Golfarb). There is also the most extreme step an officer can take and that is to take ones own life. Several major challenges a police officer has are, to go home at the end of his or her shift. For people in other professions this means "punching out" at the end of their shift and going home. For a police officer it means having to constantly maintain vigilance and safety for his or her self as well as their partners and to maintain, through all else, the family balance and harmony. There are several courses of action that can be utilized to maintain a stable and stress free home environment. They are, having an open and honest communication with all family members, a strong belief in what is right and wrong, as well as a good support system both in the home and at work. The "job"

The law enforcement career is an intense and interesting career. It has the potential to be one of the worst jobs that anyone can have, but also has the potential to be the most rewarding profession there is. The "job" has many pitfalls and perils that one must navigate through in order to make it home to the family at the end of their shift. There are many stressful aspects to the "job" that people do not realize. Some of the aspects include the constant threat to the individual officers life and the life of his or her partner. The fact that they seem to deal with the same people over and over again, trying to work with-in a criminal justice system that seems to just be a "revolving" door for the continual release of individuals that need to be doing prison time for the offenses that they have done. Then there is the frustration of having to constantly show patience and restraint, even though every fiber of your existence just wants to reach out and beat the living tar out of someone who desperately deserves it. All of this manifests itself in stress, stress for the officer and through no fault of their own, and the officers' family. The family seems to receive the brunt of the officer's stress leading to turmoil and imbalance in the officer's family and...
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