November 17, 2015
Chapter 13: Stress and Police Personnel
Stress in the work place is very common; learning to deal with the stress and manage it may call for some assistance. Over the past years, the Science Community has researched with the help of the police profession to find a result for the abundance of police related stress in the work place. Programs were developed to help make administrators aware of the stress related causes. These would include stress and its relationship between adaptation and job related stress, multiple aspects of police suicide and what can be done to prevent, and others. Stress is defined as anything that places and adductive demand ...view middle of the document...
They are exposed to cruelty, aggression and violence on a daily basis. Some stressors are being judged by the media and killing suspects in the line of duty is on top of the list. Racial conflict fell last, whereas African Americans inadequate support from the department was the highest ranking stressor (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 544-548).
Deadly force stress attached to an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) include reaction taken on life, response from peers and family, rigorous examination, disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, civil litigation, and unwanted media attention. Post shooting reaction has five basic phases; concerns about being able to pull the trigger when the time comes, the actual killing experience, exhilaration and the recoil, remorse, and nausea phases. Posttraumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly seen during this time. Common symptoms of PTSD are headache, upset stomach, nausea, weakness, fatigue, muscle tension and twitches just to name a few. The final phase is the rationalization and acceptance. Worst case scenario the officer enters into a prolonged posttraumatic phase because sufficient resolutions never occur resulting in an end to the officer’s career (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 552-556).
Suicide by Cop (SBC) are individuals who wish to die and therefore use the police to affect their goal, when such shootings are clearly justified and the event is quite stressful for the officers. SBC and police officers as victims have to determine the suspect’s weapon to be inoperative. If not, the suspect is otherwise responsible for a confrontation to bring about his or her death at the hands of the authorities. The officer may question his or her own reaction to this confrontation. Society may be quick to allot for the dead suspect to be the victim, but in fact it was the officer who was the real victim. The officer was unequivocally forced into this situation by the suicidal person. The department is obligated to support the victim officer in such circumstances, and communicate to the victim that he or she was professionally justified (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 556-558).
Alcoholism plays a significant role with difficulties for law enforcement. Warning signs of its abuse include complaints by citizens, intoxication on a twenty-four seven basis, insubordination noticed by supervisors, and reduction in overall performance. In the world of law enforcement, the temptation to become heavily involved with alcohol increases substantially. According to Swanson, Taylor, and Territo, “Police departments traditionally adhere to the ‘character flaw’ theory of alcoholism.” This meant that officers with an alcohol problem would be denounced then relieved from their duties, without being offered assistance in rehabilitation. Today, the ‘character flaw’ theory has been abandoned for a more graceful alternative (Swanson, Territo, Taylor, 559-560).
Recovery efforts now sit at the forefront of the battle against alcoholism. Affected...