Stress on Police Officers Essay

1379 Words Sep 28th, 2011 6 Pages
THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON POLICE OFFICERS
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
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Politicians continue to pander to the public with new laws and restrictions for police officers that further tie their hands, and YOU CAN'T CHOKE ANYONE WITH YOUR HANDS TIED! So you start to feel that you're choking yourself.
If we take a quick overview of police work and look at the research of what the biggest stressors are, we find: * Killing someone in the line of duty. * Having you partner killed in the line of duty. * Lack of support by the department/bosses. * Shiftwork and disruption of family time/family rituals. * The daily grind of dealing with the stupidity of the public, or the "asshole factor".
Interestingly, physical danger is ranked low on the list of stressors by police officers!
One of the worst effects of stress on police officers is of course suicide. We are becoming all too familiar with police suicide especially with the attention the media has given New York City. Twice as many police officers die by their own hand as do in the line of duty!
A study of 2376 Buffalo NY police officers found that compared to the white male population police officers had higher mortality rates for cancer, suicide, and heart disease. The suggested reason: Higher stress levels.
What is going on? Every study done points to the higher levels of stress police officers face, but what form does that stress take? With suicide there seem to be four factors:
1. Divorce. 2.Alcohol - not alcoholism. That was
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