Stress on Police Officers

Topics: Suicide, Police, Constable Pages: 4 (1381 words) Published: September 17, 2011
Not much good news here.

The following is the text of a speech give by Dan Goldfarb to a group of union delegates on the impact stress can have on their men.

There has been a lot of research on the negative effects of stress on people in general. I am sure you know that police work is one of the top rated professions for job stress next to air traffic controllers and dentists. A good way to start this presentation, I think, is to give a good working definition of police stress I have seen the following definition around enough to realize that many who are reading this are already familiar with this excellent definition. What I like about the following definition is that it is not just scientific, but gives an idea of what stress is, relates very well to the police job, and can even give us an idea of what cops may need to do to help themselves with stress. Okay, here it is: That feeling and desire along with the ensuing bodily effects, experienced by a person who has a strong and true longing to choke the living shit out of someone who desperately deserves it, but you can't. Now, while this may sound funny there is a real element of truth to it. An element of truth that says an awful lot about police work. And that is the part of the definition "......BUT YOU CAN'T". Police work, by it's very nature, calls for an incredible amount of restraint. Continual restraint. Draining restraint. It is stressful. The demands on police officers to show ever greater restraint have been increasing over the years, and not so coincidentally has the effects of stress on police work. With the recent attention that police suicide has received in the media there have been a number of reviews on police suicide. I came across an interesting statistic. Between 1934 and 1960 police suicide rates were half that of the general population. Between 1980 to the present, suicide rates in some departments almost approach double! What is the...
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