What Are The Effects Of Police Stress In Law Enforcement

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A study found that 47% of men and 58% of women in law enforcement were excessive drinkers (Richmond, Wodak, Kehoe, & Nick, 1998). Excessive drinking not only harms organs, which can cause numerous problems, but it also causes cognitive dysfunction. Most agencies have policies in place to prevent officers from drinking 24 hours before the start of their shift. When officers partake in excessive drinking, this policy is not followed and can lead to slower reaction times when on duty, resulting in harm to themselves or others (Collingwood et al., 2003).
Law enforcement is a stressful job. From experiencing life-threatening situations, to seeing children being abused, to seeing others die on a regular basis, officers experience much more stress
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The general population has a divorce rate of 50%, but in law enforcement the divorce rate is a staggering 68% (Snipes, D., 2002). Others suggest the divorce rate of police officers and their spouse ranges from 66 to 75% (Ansen & Colon, 1995). Regardless, the divorce rate of police officers and their spouse is consistently found higher than the general publics.
Officers are faced with stress on a daily basis when on the job. How they handle that stress at home will often determine how their marriage is impacted. Many times officers will turn to outside coping mechanisms such as alcohol, instead of talking to their spouse about the problems they are struggling with (Morash et al., 2006). When officers turn to outside sources to relieve stress, it puts a strain on their marriage, which if left unattended, can ruin their marriage resulting in divorce.
When officers experience low job satisfaction for long periods of time, it leads to anxiety and depression, which was found to lead to an increased risk of suicide ideation (Clark, White, & Violanti, 2012). Other factors such as burnout, fatigue, and stress do not accurately predict suicide ideation, unless it has led to anxiety and depression (Berg et al., 2003). Police officers do not always experience anxiety and depression when faced with the tremendous amount of stress, but for many one comes with the
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