Essay on Stress and Law Enforcement

1152 Words May 15th, 2005 5 Pages
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 thinks he is supporting
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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 re-explained to prepare the officer for the court date, if necessary. The requirement that the officer see a counselor within twenty-four hours of the shooting, to ride with another officer for a day or two following the incident, or to surrender a firearm during the investigation should be upheld. Stress in law enforcement is pervasive and, unlike occupations in which many stressors may be eliminated, avoided, or reduced, law enforcement officers only have the option to learn more effective strategies for coping with stressors. Ineffective coping will result in emotional blocking, withdrawing from the spouse, alcohol, drugs, sleeping aids, behavioral problems, and cynicism. Stress management is the key to relieving the stress and tension that a l law enforcement officer may harbor. Individuals react differently to relaxation methods based on their physiology and personality. The goal of stress management techniques works for everyone, and many people utilize several techniques under different conditions. The choice of technique may be based on the person's preferred sensory mode or their unique combination of stress related symptoms. Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique to reduce stress. Emotional anxiety is directly related to muscle tension, and in

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