stress and law enforcement Essay

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Management and Dealing with Stress in Officers

     It is important that law enforcement officers are able to handle stress and build his or her zone of stability. Officers have a ready-made support system in each other. They better understand the special problems and feelings that come with the job that friends and family members don’t. That doesn’t necessarily mean that this relationship with their fellow officers will cure all. Sometimes, because of the “macho” image that police officers uphold, they will give back negative feedback in a situation where an officer needs comfort. For example, an officer shoots someone in the line of duty and is having an emotional struggle with it, and a fellow officer (who
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Even if the officer has a good mental preparation and a solid zone of stability, other factors such as the degree of the threat to the officer’s life (including wounds), amount of warning before the shooting, how long the danger persists, the security of the officer in his/her judgment to shoot, who the deceased person is, the administrative support he/she receives, and how the media treats the situation, all effect how mild, moderate, or severe the reaction will be. The long-term effects vary from person to person. Some may suffer from flashbacks, sleep disturbances, nightmares, depression, fearfulness, emotional withdrawal from family and fellow officers, appetite changes and hostility towards the law enforcement system (Solomon 1990).
     In order to ensure that the officer’s emotional reaction to a shooting incident remains at a minimum, the department should have a system setup for this. The officers must be reminded of what reactions they can expect when they are hired regarding their involvement in a shooting. There should never be any suggestion or accusation of wrongdoing during the debriefing interview. The officer should be debriefed on how the investigation procedure will operate so that the department can get all the facts regarding the incident. Court preceding and dispositions should be
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