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NCJ Number: 148884 Find in a Library
Title: Cops and Counseling
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:21  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1994)  Pages:50- 51
Author(s): D Martin
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 2
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Stress and law enforcement are briefly discussed.
Abstract: Law enforcement officers are subject to stresses much more intense than in almost any other job. This article briefly describes the stresses of rotating shifts, of simultaneously having to be a social worker, lawyer, and law enforcer, and the stresses inherent in daily life and death decisions. Aggravating these circumstances are an officer's general reluctance to use his family and counselors as sources of support, society's high expectations of law enforcement officers, and the fear that the officer will either lose his job if he seeks help or will be "rubber- gunned," i.e., put on light duty. In lieu of seeking psychological help for stress, officers frequently turn to alcohol and substance abuse. Regarding alcohol abuse, other problems are created, not the least of which is that the officer seeking help for alcoholism will have to obtain treatment with the general public, some of whom may have negative feelings concerning law enforcement officers, thereby further jeopardizing his own well-being. Regarding illegal drug abuse, most police departments have a zero- tolerance rule, resulting in dismissal of the officer who admits to a drug abuse problem. The author concludes that fortunately the climate is improving, shifting to a supportive one that encourages officers to seek psychological counseling.
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse; Drug abuse; Police occupational stress
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