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  • Law Enforcement Stress

    It doesn’t seem to matter what study you read. Law enforcement always rates as one of the most stressful of all professions. But I have found that there is an interesting dynamic at work here. If you were to ask the average non-law enforcement citizen what it is that they think makes police work so stressful, you would get answers like:

    • They work crazy shifts
    • They deal with the underbelly of society and see people at their worst
    • They experience trauma and tragedy on a daily basis
    • They constantly face danger and potential death
    • They ride a roller-coaster of emotions and adrenaline rushes
    • They are concerned about law suits and negative media

    Certainly all of these things add to the stress burden of our officers. But if you ask the police themselves what THEY think makes their jobs so incredibly stressful, you get a slightly different answer. The most common answer amongst the police is INTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS! It’s as if all that other stuff isn’t stressful enough. What’s really stressing me out is all these crazy people I have to work with!

    I have found this dynamic to be universally true in virtually every agency I have trained worldwide. So if we could find a way to strengthen and stabilize internal relationships within our police agencies, not only would they become that much powerfully effective in accomplishing the police mission within their jurisdictions. We would have the added benefit of reducing the stress load that each officer and their family deals with on a daily basis.

    That’s why character is so important for building and strengthening trust-based relationships. And the power for all effective change rests within our relationships…

    What about you? Do you agree with the statement that much of the stress we face in law enforcement comes from internal relationships, whether from our peers or our superiors...?

    Sheriff Ray
    www.PoliceDynamicsMedia.com

  • #2
    Sell your snake oil somewhere else.

    M-11
    “All men dream...... But not equally..
    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

    TE Lawrence

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree 100%. We expect the stuff on the outside but not the back stabbing and drama that goes on at headquarters.

      One thing that has eased my stress the most is letting my arrests go once I've dropped them off at jail. Don't worry about the court system or if they get out on light charges. Just put em back in and move on. You still have to provide good testimony in court, just don't get hung up on your arrest.

      I think what's missing the most from modern law enforcement is camaraderie. Leadership has gotten so preoccupied with keeping the citizens happy that they forget about their officer/deputies. When a citizen comes up to me and honestly thanks me for what we do it overwhelms me to tears because its so rare, especially from superiors.

      We've also come away from promoting actual leaders and now base leadership on a test score or ethnicity. As a result we get supervisors who think leading is writing people up and driving the newer car. They've forgotten what the word sergeant means.
      Last edited by leesrt; 03-09-2010, 05:42 AM.
      Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

      CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

      Comment


      • #4
        All of the stuff you mentioned with bullet points are stressful and probably take greater tolls on us than we are aware of for the most part. However, it sure seems to me that officers spend a lot of their time worrying about keeping supervision off their backs. Most worry more about citizen complaints and the departments handling of them more than they worry about what the prosecutor, court, or the media will think of their decisions.

        leesrt, you're pretty much spot on in my opinion.
        Proudly generated over a hundred thousand dollars in attorney's fees and counting

        Comment


        • #5
          I think a big part of it is what you LET bother you. Sure your going to have stuff that gets under your skin from time to time... but do you let it effect you to an extreme?

          I have seen guys that let collective small things fester until they no longer enjoy their job and are miserable in general.

          Bottom line, you gotta roll with it some days. Smile and realize its just a job...
          Retired 02/01/13

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bigcop97 View Post
            I think a big part of it is what you LET bother you. Sure your going to have stuff that gets under your skin from time to time... but do you let it effect you to an extreme?

            I have seen guys that let collective small things fester until they no longer enjoy their job and are miserable in general.

            Bottom line, you gotta roll with it some days. Smile and realize its just a job...
            +1 I do my job and go home to see my wife. All the things others have mentioned are spot on about the complaints and the prosecution of their cases. But like Leesrt I just drop them off and forget about it until I receive a subpoena. My stress levels had been through the roof since I started up until a few months ago. I finally just said "this is a job, as long as I perform to the best of my abilities then I have done nothing wrong."

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            • #7
              STRESS!!!!!!!




              WHAT STRESS??????
              Last edited by mavriktu; 03-09-2010, 03:41 PM.
              Sleeping Giant. They're not fat and happy anymore. They are hungry and increasingly angry. That is not a good recipe for a "Puppies and Rainbows America".

              Comment


              • #8
                Rule #1....Don't sweat the small stuff.
                Rule #2....99% of the B.S. we deal with is small stuff. Do things right and safe and it's water off a duck's back.

                It's the 1% you gotta train and prepare for!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I went back to work last week after being out for 6 months on an inmate related injury.

                  About 4 months into it I started to feel the stress start to dissipate..It was stress that went unnoticed until that extended time off.

                  Had to put the game face back on, with it came back the underlying stress. Maybe it helps to keep you on your toes, It took a few days to reevaluate my surroundings and then it was like I never left.


                  Edit: immediately after the incident, my blood pressure was lower than it has been in years....go figure
                  Last edited by The Gladiators; 03-09-2010, 06:35 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Gladiators View Post
                    I went back to work last week after being out for 6 months on an inmate related injury.
                    Glad you're alright!
                    "Inside me is something that is too stupid to quit. I don't know where it comes from or why it is, but it is there and always has been."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by leesrt View Post
                      I agree 100%. We expect the stuff on the outside but not the back stabbing and drama that goes on at headquarters.

                      One thing that has eased my stress the most is letting my arrests go once I've dropped them off at jail. Don't worry about the court system or if they get out on light charges. Just put em back in and move on. You still have to provide good testimony in court, just don't get hung up on your arrest.

                      I think what's missing the most from modern law enforcement is camaraderie. Leadership has gotten so preoccupied with keeping the citizens happy that they forget about their officer/deputies. When a citizen comes up to me and honestly thanks me for what we do it overwhelms me to tears because its so rare, especially from superiors.

                      We've also come away from promoting actual leaders and now base leadership on a test score or ethnicity. As a result we get supervisors who think leading is writing people up and driving the newer car. They've forgotten what the word sergeant means.
                      Yep. I'd have to say that the most stressful part of any law enforcement job I've had was the coworkers and bosses. The rest of the "stress" is expected. I can anticipate the bad guy much better than I can anticipate the people in my office.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        internal stuff much more of a pain than the external. by far.

                        good sergeants can keep the internal whooie down to a dull roar so the troops can just go out and do the job. problem is sometimes good sergeants are hard to find or they retire out leaving a void and and as a result more whooie falls upon the troops.

                        by the way, i'm a troop and don't like whooie!
                        wherever you go, there you are....

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