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NCJ Number: 127133 Find in a Library
Title: Cops Under Fire
Journal: U.S. News and World Report  Volume:109  Issue:22  Dated:(December 3 1990)  Pages:32-44
Author(s): G Witkin; T Gest; D Friedman
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 13
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Police in the United States are faced with rising crime, offenders armed with superior weaponry, an apparently ineffective criminal justice system, and behavioral monitoring, thus creating an occupational stress that impacts their personal lives.
Abstract: In the first 6 months of 1990, reported violent crimes increased by 10 percent over the comparable period the previous year. Increasingly, police feel trapped between rising crime rates and an angry and fearful citizenry that demands immediate solutions to problems deeply rooted in the socioeconomic fabric of urban areas. In a period of shrinking governmental resources, police are being asked to do more with less. The drug trade has required a costly police response, and there is little evidence that this response is diminishing the problem. Police are also outgunned, as criminals are able to obtain rapid-fire weapons. Under the 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Tennessee v. Garner, police are allowed to use deadly force only when it is apparent that lives are endangered. This puts police behavior under intense scrutiny. Changes in the police force as a higher percentage of racial minorities and women are hired has also increased tension in the police force. The stress of these events is compounded by the tendency of police officers to maintain a controlled, emotionless demeanor. Police agencies are attempting to provide training in stress management and provide counseling services.
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Police effectiveness; Police use of deadly force; Police weapons
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