Some stress is not only inevitable, it can be good. Police stress, however, refers to the negative pressures related to police work. Police officers are not superhumans. According to Gail Goolkasian and others, research shows that they are affected by their daily exposure to human indecency and pain; that dealing with a suspicious and sometimes hostile public takes its toll on them; and that the shift changes, the long periods of boredom, and the ever-present danger that are part of police work do cause serious job stress.
By the nature of their jobs, many police officers face tremendous stress on a daily basis. Research has shown that police officers are at increased risk for Police stressors events and may face an increased risk for suicide. Yet, police officers are in general an understudied occupational group.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health NIOSHtogether with colleagues at the University at Buffalo UBis studying the effects of policing and stress on adverse metabolic and early stage subclinical cardiovascular outcomes with the ultimate Police stressors of preventing these and other stress-related disorders.
The clinical examination includes a series of questionnaires, which measure demographic, lifestyle, and psychological factors e. Upon completion of the clinical exam, officers are given an actigraph, a small electronic device that resembles a wrist watch, to wear over the next 15 days that measures the quantity and quality of sleep throughout their typical police shift cycle.
Department of Justice have extended the BCOPS Study by measuring police officer fatigue and the impact of fatigue on officer health and performance. A unique feature of this study is the utilization of both objective sleep quality measures obtained by the actigraph and daily work history records which date back to These measures will allow researchers to assess the effects of shift work and extended work hours on officer stress and fatigue, and examine the effects of work-related stress and fatigue on cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk.
While there are many unique features of this study, the partnership that exists between the UB Principal Investigator Dr. Recognizing the tremendous value the study findings could have on police officer safety and health, these groups have worked closely together to increase visibility of the studies and encourage the officers to participate.
Additionally, as a retired New York state trooper, Dr. Violanti brings unique insight and maintains a sense of credibility among the officers. Another feature of our research has been the success of two previous cross-sectional pilot studies involving a smaller number of Buffalo police officers.
Findings include the following: Female officers had higher mean Impact of Events a measure of post-traumatic stress symptoms and CES-D a measure of depressive symptoms scores than male officers.
Officers with higher post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD symptoms had a nearly two-fold reduction in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, indicating greater impairment of endothelial function physiologic dysfunction of the normal biochemical processes carried out by the cells which line the inner surface of blood vessels than officers with fewer PTSD symptoms.
This association was attenuated slightly by covariate adjustment for age and education. Additional findings include associations of negative life events with depressive symptoms Hartley et al. Currently, we are continuing to examine police officers as part of our study of the entire Buffalo Police Department.
We look forward to sharing our results with you in the future. The complete results of this research may be applicable not only to police officers but to other first responders who also consistently place their safety and health on the line.
Additionally, the information gained from this research may increase understanding of how stress in all workplaces might lead to adverse health outcomes.
We are interested in hearing from police officers, police administration, police unions, law enforcement planners, other emergency responders, and investigators focused in this area of research.
Your input will be valuable in the design of future studies in this area. What are the key stressors involved with police work?
What types of interventions would be feasible in the future to 1 decrease work-related stress and 2 improve cardiovascular health among police officers?
Thank you for your assistance, Tara A.Stressors in police work fall into four categories: Stresses inherent in police work. Stresses arising internally from police department practices and policies.
External stresses stemming from the criminal justice system and the society at large. Internal stresses confronting individual officers Police Stress Police officers experience frequent and ongoing stressors in their work.
These stressors range from cumulative stress (constant risk on the job, the need for adherence to often restricting and conflicting regulations, public perceptions that may be inaccurate) to critical incidents such as .
The investigation's two most recent studies report on the effect of shift work on stress and suicide risk in police officers, and on male/female differences in stress and possible signs of. Jun 30, · 1. We believe the greatest stressors on a police officer are of the “cumulative” kind.
In looking at 48 police suicides in the United States thus far during , we see that the majority have eluded the “suicide prevention radar.”. Police Stress. Stress plays a part in the lives of everyone. Some stress is not only inevitable, it can be good.
For example, the physical stress of “working out” improves your cardiovascular system, and feeling pressure that causes you to study harder for an exam can improve your score. Enduring stress for a long period of time can lead to anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a psychological condition marked by an inability to be intimate, inability to sleep, increased nightmares, increased feelings.