Police officer’s stress and its effects on his family
There are various factors such as shift-work, irregular sleep, low income, limited social and family life that can potentially cause stress on the part of police officers. Whatever be the reason, the outcome badly affects the family life of the officer. Researches indicate that if officers are properly trained with the ability to recognize the effects of stress inculcated they could manage stress effectively which in turn will help them lessen the effects of stress on their respective families too.
It is incumbent on the police department to assume the responsibility of training, educating and guiding their office through stress. They must provide counseling to the police officers who are facing difficulty coping with stress.
Given the nature of police work, stress cannot be separated too easily. The officer is bound to become stressed out amid tough working hours and irregular routines which consequently affect his family relations.
However, only through proper guidance and counseling stress can be managed and reduced to its minimum level. Stress has a lot to do with the confidence and performance of the officer.(Haines, 2003)
Stress can cause a plethora of problems for the professional, personal and social life. Marred by stress, the officer may nurture a negative toward his work, family and friends. If statistics are to be trusted, the adverse effect of stress on police officers becomes palpable. The divorce rate among police officers has significantly gone high over a period of time.
Another problem that aggravates stress on the part of police officers is their spending time with colleague to vent their ill feelings instead of quality time with family and friends. Subsequently, they become so overwhelmed with their job life only to feel neglected and isolated from their families and friends.
The best way to help officer deal with stress is the development and implementation of stress management and counseling programs. It will naturally allow police officer to learn how to combat, treat, and prevent stress. The department must come up with non-punitive and less stressful work routines.
In case an officer wants consultancy to cope with stress, his/her problem should not be viewed as anomaly. All the information that an officer provides regarding the causes and effects of stress should be kept confidential in order to ensure stress and fear free environment of treatment.
The department amid treatment process should try to inculcate the feeling of optimism among the patients so as to fend off the disastrous feeling of hopelessness. The department should empathize with the officer so that they feel their department stands by them in times of need.
One effective way for police officers to keep stress at arm’s length is to keep their personalities amicable, sociable and co-operative only on professional level. It has often been observed that police officers themselves invite stress by being unable to manage their duties.
They must realize that the no matter how hectic their duties are they can still strike balance between family and professional life. Giving and taking orders is not the only thing that should worry officers. A good and stress-free police officer is always a good manger.
Haines, Corey (2003) “Police stress and effects on the family” E.M.U. school of police staff and command.
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