Stressor in Policing
Stressis a factor that affects law enforcement officers when performingpolicing work. Psychological stressors involve situations thattrigger negative emotional and mental reactions among the policeofficers. Law enforcement officers are said to experience the highestlevels of stress because their duties include activities and eventsthat are not easy to cope (Peak, 2015). Several aspects of thepolicing work are associated with police stress. The paper evaluatespsychological stressors that are witnessed when accomplishingpolicing duties.
Psychologicalstressors are common in policing and are inevitable. Negativepressures experienced when enforcing law causes police stress. Lawenforcement officers are normal human beings and can bepsychologically disturbed. Police officers face danger,administrative burden, and pressures of accomplishing their duties(Lucas, Weidner, & Janisse, 2012). Recently, stress is a commonissue that hinders policing across the world. Police officers areexposed to human pain and indecency, which affects their psychology.
Psychologicalstress in policing is associated with diverse sources that need to bemanaged. Exposure of police officers to individuals suffering painand distress is a psychological stressor. Policing job connects lawenforcement officers to the lives of the crime victims and offenders.The emotional states of police officers are affected when they areexposed to events that involve individuals undergoing suffering,pain, and sadness. Moreover, situations that threaten the health andsafety of police officers are possible psychological stressors(Tuckey, Winwood, & Dollard, 2012). Policing job can be dangerousif it involves working in areas associated with high crimes. The highchance of being hurt or killed by criminals in such areas cannegatively affect police officers’ minds and influence stress.
Policinginvolves ensuring the safety of citizens by preventing external andinternal attacks. The responsibilities assigned to police officersqualify to be psychological stressors. Officers are required to be atthe first line of defense to ensure that the lives of individuals aresecured. The policing task is not easy and may contribute topsychological stress witnessed within the police force. The effortsthat are applied when shouldering the policing responsibility can bestraining and possible sources of stress (Peak, 2015). Besides, theadministrative procedures and policies that are formulated withoutthe involvement of the police officers are psychological stressors.For instance, police assignments are sometimes interfered by courtappearances.
Psychologicalstress causes both emotional problems and physical disorders. Manycases of suicides among police officers have been linked to stress.Stressors in policing need to be analyzed and possible strategiesemployed to eliminate them because they negatively affect policeofficers. The high prevalence of psychological stress problems inpolicing has drawn the public attention (Lucas, Weidner, &Janisse, 2012). Stress issues in policing were handled informally inthe past. The psychologically stressed officers were assigned desktasks as a way of managing their problems. Diverse responses havebeen developed and implemented recently by policing departments toaddress stressors in policing. Police officers, if psychologicallydisturbed are likely to perform poorly. Therefore, solving the issuesthat negatively affect the emotions and the state of mind of policeofficers is an important incentive. Programs that focus onrelaxation, physical fitness, counseling, and biofeedback need to beestablished because they help to eliminate psychological stressors.
In conclusion, psychological stressor can hinder the policing work.The performance of police officers is affected by events andactivities that influence stress. Psychological stressors interferewith officers’ peace of mind and emotions. Law enforcementdepartments need to create a conducive working environment anddevelop techniques of handling police stress.
Lucas, T., Weidner, N., & Janisse, J. (2012). Where does workstress come from? A generalizability analysis of stress in policeofficers. Psychology & health, 27(12), 1426-1447.
Peak, K. J. (2015). Policing America: Challenges and bestpractices. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Tuckey, M. R., Winwood, P. C., & Dollard, M. F. (2012).Psychosocial culture and pathways to psychological injury withinpolicing. Police Practice and Research, 13(3), 224-240.
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