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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228252 Find in a Library
Title: Stress Management Research at the Ontario Police College
Journal: The Police Chief  Volume:76  Issue:8  Dated:August 2009  Pages:112-114,116,121
Author(s): Irene Barath
Date Published: August 2009
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews two research studies conducted at the Ontario Police College (Canada), one that focused on stress in policing and the implications for performance in operational settings and another that addressed the strategies that experienced police officers use to manage self-identified stressors in their work and personal lives.
Abstract: The overall conclusion of the first study was that the level of physiological stress experienced by study participants did not affect their performance, even though the simulated operation was sufficiently stressful to cause significant elevations in heart rate and cortical levels; however, variations in performance indicated that the lower the level of social support available, the more difficulty an officer would have in dealing with critical events that occur on the job. A Firearms Training Simulator was used to put 84 police recruit volunteers through a specially designed simulation intended to mirror a realistic operational situation. Study participants were videotaped during the simulation exercise, and their performances were assessed independently by three police college instructors after the training program was completed. In the second study, the survey of experienced police officers indicated they were still passionate about their work, having sustained their commitment to serving their communities and protecting the public from harm. Still, they were frustrated by perceived inequities in the administrative procedures of their agencies. They identified career success as receiving systemic acknowledgment through promotion. They consistently identified internal stressors and the administrative aspects of the job as creating the most significant stress. The final analysis of the findings has identified a list of specific sources of stress for officers and the coping strategies used to deal with stress in positive ways. The study, which was conducted online from November 2005 to November 2007, obtained input from 218 experienced police officers. 13 notes
Main Term(s): Police work attitudes
Index Term(s): Canada; Foreign criminal justice research; Foreign police; Police occupational stress; Police performance evaluation; Police research; Police training performance; Stress management
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