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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 159237 Find in a Library
Title: Law Enforcement Stress: Causes Costs and Solutions
Journal: Sheriff  Volume:47  Issue:6  Dated:(November-December 1995)  Pages:10-11,57
Author(s): R J Bonanno; P J Cove
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Occupational stress increases police department costs and causes police officers to suffer physically and emotionally.
Abstract: Most police departments have a rigorous selection process to ensure that individuals selected for law enforcement positions are healthy. One of the most important skills taught in police training academies is the ability to assume and maintain control. Nonetheless, police officers work in an environment where individuals are constantly at risk and they have to make life or death decisions in a matter of seconds. After training, new police officers generally work for a period with experienced police officers where they learn operational tactics and coping strategies. A factor that frequently causes stress for new police officers involves shift assignments. Shift work has been shown to cause physical and emotional changes in individuals; because of time spent away from the family, marital problems and even occasionally domestic violence result. At some point, police officers find themselves involved in a traumatic or critical incident. Although only 2 percent of all police officers are forced to take a life in the line of duty, over 80 percent have been involved in a critical incident that has had an observable impact on them. The most effective way of limiting the impact of a critical incident is through the critical incident stress debriefing (CISD). When the CISD is conducted by trained individuals in a timely manner, generally within 24-72 hours, close to 90 percent of police officers do not suffer long-term negative effects of a critical incident.
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Critical incident stress; Marital problems; Police effectiveness; Stress management
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