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Officer
Stress week 3 discussion 2

The police work environment itself can and does have adverse effects on police
officers. It creates stress, which may be defined as a force that is external
in nature that causes both physical and emotional strain upon the body. The
late Hans Selye, who is known as “the father of stress research,”
defined stress as a nonspecific response of a body to demands placed on it.

To help officers deal with stress and its effects, a comprehensive wellness
program is needed that should include five elements: (1) physical fitness, (2)
stress management, (3) psychological and mental health, (4) nutrition and
dietary-related behaviors, and (5) alcohol/chemical dependency.

Police agencies need a comprehensive wellness program to assist officers in
coping with stress, but if that fails or is absent, an employee assistance
program (EAP) should be available to help officers to cope with alcohol and
substance abuse, psychological problems such as depression, or family
management problems.

Read the Employee Assistance Program The Police Notebook and address the following:
Why has the University of Oklahoma Police Department
established an EAP, and how does the program work? What portions of the EAP presented did you find
particularly helpful? Why? What portions should be expanded? Why?In your opinion, do you think either a comprehensive
wellness program or an EAP helps with officer stress? Why or why not?
Peak, K.
(2012). Policing America: Challenges and best practices
(7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
Police officers during their work often encounter stress. The late
Hans S. defined stress as a nonspecific response
of a body to demands placed on it (Peak, 2012). There are many thing that cause
stress in a police officers life. Work hours, no time spent with family, irregular sleep schedules.
To help officer deal with
stress the employee assistance program should be used. The university of
Oklahoma police department, established EAP to help employees find the best
resources to deal with their challenges. The program works in partnership with
the police officers and assesses the nature of the problem and then decides on
the best avenue for help (Employee Assistance Program (EAP, 2015).
The EAP is
helpful especially to the employees when they offer counselling services to the
officers who have stress issues. This is because they are doing this in
confidentiality and with no cost to the employee. This makes them to come
forward when they have issues affecting them and hence addressing the issues.
One portion
that should be expanded is the legal and financial services to the members and
their families. Many officer s face a
lot of financial and legal problems. When the EAP comes to assist, this reduces
the pressure that they were facing and hence do their work better without much
distractions.
This program is helping a lot the officers to
deal with their stress and other problems at large. When an officer knows where
he or she can get help to deal with the stress, they will go for it and when
it s being done at no cost and in confidentiality many will come out to be
helped. Also this program is factoring in the families of the officers. These
are people who are close to them and can easily detect when the officers have
any issue as they will not be behaving in the normal way.
According
to Sergeant Haines (2003) Managers should be able to assist subordinates in
identifying stressors and help educate them in stress management. Research has
shown that as managers we need to take an active role in providing counseling
for our officers as it relates to stressful situations whether these stressful
situations occur on or off the job (p.7).
Education and counseling needs to be provided for the officers to help
them manage stress. No two officers are the same. While one officer might be
stressed another might not. The School
of Police Staff and Command has trained management to be more effective in
promoting a healthy work environment.
It is important
to note that stress cannot be taken out completely but it can be reduced. If a
officer needs counseling no one in the police department should know. The Madison Heights Police Department like
many other police departments fail to recognize the negative impacts stress has
on a police officer. Stress has a way of
eating you alive, too many times a officer doesn t get the courage to talk to
their Deputy Chief or Chief even a
Chaplain. But, this can also create more problems. A
police officer has to turn off his or her feelings with the flick of a switch. Work
hours If the department could do as
well at reducing the stress of their
officers as they do in rewarding them for extra work the department would
thrive (Sergeant, Haines, 2003, p. 16-17).
References.
Employee Assistance Program
(EAP), (2015). Employee Assistance
Program (EAP). Retrieved
July 6, 2015,
from AssistanceProgram#139479how-eap-works
Peak, K. (2012).Policing America: Challenges and best
practices(7th ed.).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
Education
Sergeant, Haines, C. (2003,
September 19). PDF] Police Stress and the Effects on the Family. Retrieved from
www.emich.edu/…%20%20Stress…/ Police%20Stress%20and%20the%20Effe… –
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