The response must be a minimum of 150 words and a minimum of 2 references.
Textbook-Territo, L., & Sewell, J.D. (2019). Stress management in law enforcement (4th ed.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN: 9781531015756.
Q: What are the unique stress-producing aspects experienced in policing, and what can be done to reduce stress for law enforcement officers?
The Unique Stress-Producing Aspects in Policing and Steps to Reduce Stress for Law Enforcement
Unique Stress-Producing Aspects in Policing
This discussion aims to describe the stress-producing aspect of law enforcement and the steps to reduce stress within the profession. The stress-producing elements unique to law enforcement include repeated exposure to violence, split-second decisions on life and death situations, threats to personal safety, repeated exposure to the suffering of others, and the understanding that human existence is fragile (Territo & Sewell, 2019). In addition, officers experience stress through repeated exposure to critical incidents that, over time, can create continuing stress for officers. Finally, many officers do not receive support from the community residents they serve or many elected officials. The lack of support from some community residents and politicians has created other consequences that have worsened the quality of life and crime situation (Colton, 2019, October 25; Bradford, 2022, September 15; Roberts, 2016, December 16). Many officers choose to either retire or resign, leaving numerous law enforcement agencies severely understaffed, exacerbating the rise in crime in jurisdictions across the United States. Another negative impact of the lack of support is that the suicide rate among law enforcement officers in the U.S. has risen unprecedentedly over the last several years (Ramchand, et al., 2018).
How to Combat Stress in Law Enforcement
For this discussion, there are seven primary ways to resist the stress that law enforcement officers experience: Peer support programs, training, workshops, presentations, regular meetings, healthy lifestyle training, and mentoring programs (Dennis, 2022). Peer support programs allow officers the opportunity to talk with other officers who may have experienced stress or trauma on the job without fear of reprisals from the agency. Training programs can offer ways for officers to cope with the stress and trauma they experience in the workplace. Workshops for officers push them to respond proactively and deal with stress and trauma. Presentations provide information to the officers about the dangers of stress and how to deal with the emotional and physiological effects. Regular meetings offer officers an outlet to discuss work experiences that may negatively impact their lives. Healthy lifestyle training gives officers concrete methods to deal with stress and trauma. Finally, mentoring programs allow veteran officers to counsel and guide other officers deal with workplace stress.
This discussion has examined the unique stress-producing aspect of law enforcement and how to address the situation. The Bible also provides police officers insight into how to cope with stress. Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (1973/2011) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”