An Examination of Officer Stress: Should Police Departments Implement Mandatory Counseling?
This study suggests that police departments who promote counseling benefit from officer stress reduction. Officers from sixteen municipal police departments (n = 1,114) across the state of Alabama possessed moderate stress, but were influenced significantly by organizational demographics (including counseling opportunities). A majority of officers believed that stress signs were not predictive of police suitability but remained reluctant to share fears and anxieties with fellow colleagues, suggesting that officers feared the stigma associated with the need for stress counseling. Officers working in supportive counseling climates had significantly less stress, a reduced need for counseling, and a greater willingness to use counseling. Officers who engaged in counseling (at least occasionally) also reported more stress, indicating an awareness of their need for counseling. The authors concluded that police departments should consider requiring mandatory and periodic counseling for all officers, a procedural tactic that camouflages counseling need while concurrently treating the source of officer stress. © 2008 Springer Science + Business Media, LLC.
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology
(2008). An Examination of Officer Stress: Should Police Departments Implement Mandatory Counseling?. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 23(1), 8-15.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/20933