Policy, Wellbeing and Lifestyles of Police

Authors : Dipali Tripathi

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 7 - July

Google Scholar : https://bit.ly/3TmGbDi

Scribd : https://tinyurl.com/2p89x4dw

DOI : https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8216786

Public security and Law enforcement professionals play a vital role in maintaining public safety and security. However, the nature of police work often exposes officers to high levels of stress, which can impact their overall wellbeing and lifestyle choices. In pubmed, webMD, journal of criminal justice, and from various other sites, I had read 11 records, from which 8 studies are eligible for the review. This literature review aims to investigate the relationship between policy, wellbeing, and lifestyles of police officers by examining relevant research and studies in the field. The review includes data from 103 police officers in a large police agency in New York State, analyzing sources of police stress. The participants represented a 93 percent response rate, and surveys were distributed through interdepartmental mail with voluntary participation and protected confidentiality. The analysis of the data revealed that killing someone in the line of duty ranked as the highest stressor for police officers. Police officers with 6-10 years of experience reported the highest overall combined stressor mean score. Desk sergeants ranked organizational factors as the most intense stressors. Additionally, officers aged 31-35 reported shift work as the most intense stressor, while black police officers reported inadequate support from the department as the most stressful factor. These findings suggest the need for intervention strategies to address organizational stress in police management. The literature review also explores various areas of discussion related to police officers’ wellbeing and lifestyles. These areas include incorporating police trauma into a life- career course perspective, the changing context and nature of police work, recruitment, selection, and socialization in the context of critical incident and terrorist work, changing gender balance, training in uncertain times, managing risk and vulnerability, organizational context, family dynamics, inter- and intra- organizational teams, health and mental health, consequences of long-term exposure to hazards, and disengagement and retirement. The purpose of the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) study is to integrate psychological, physiological, and subclinical measures of stress, disease, and mental dysfunction. The study involved a stratified sample of 100 officers randomly selected from the Buffalo, NY Police Department. Various measurements and self-report measures were obtained to assess stress biomarkers, cardiovascular health, body composition, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The results showed that police officers had slightly lower flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), elevated body mass index (BMI), and higher rates of depression and PTSD compared to populations of similar age. These findings highlight the importance of addressing the physical and mental health of police officers. The report also emphasizes the need to eliminate stigma surrounding mental health and other barriers to help-seeking among law enforcement personnel. It suggests facilitating positive perceptions surrounding mental health, improving trust and confidence in services, and reducing apprehension associated with utilizing behavioral health services. The use of a strategic communications plan, expanding the network of qualified mental health professionals (QMHPs), and providing opportunities for self-care and accessing services during work hours are recommended. The report further emphasizes the importance of demonstrating leadership, prioritizing psychological health and well-being, and utilizing policy to advance health and well-being in law enforcement agencies. Sleep deprivation and disruption, which are common in law enforcement occupations, can contribute to fatigue, disruptions in sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, sleep conditions, mental health conditions, and cardiovascular disease. Substance use and misuse, particularly alcohol use, have been identified as coping strategies for stress and trauma-related symptoms among police officers. Substance and alcohol misuse have also been linked to suicide ideation and death by suicide in law enforcement personnel. Therefore, it is crucial to address factors that negatively impact sleep, as well as social and occupational factors contributing to substance use and misuse among police officers. Highlighted practices for fostering a culture of wellness within law enforcement agencies include using research to inform education and training standards, institutionalizing training throughout an officer’s career, providing fitness-related equipment, offering health and cardiac screening services, enhancing conflict management and de-escalation skills, educating personnel about mental health and providing self-care practices, and utilizing peer support and evidence-based interventions. Various federal agencies, including the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and National Institute of Corrections (NIC), have developed programs and resources to support the mental health and wellness of law enforcement personnel. These initiatives focus on providing training, technical assistance, resources, and funding for wellness programs, peer support, suicide prevention, and trauma-informed approaches.

Keywords : Police, law enforcement, policy, wellbeing, wellness, mental health, occupational health, work –life balance, job satisfaction, stress management, lifestyle, exercise, sleep, support systems, employee assistance programs.


Paper Submission Last Date
30 - November - 2023

Paper Review Notification
In 1-2 Days

Paper Publishing
In 2-3 Days

Video Explanation for Published paper

Never miss an update from Papermashup

Get notified about the latest tutorials and downloads.

Subscribe by Email

Get alerts directly into your inbox after each post and stay updated.

Subscribe by RSS

Add our RSS to your feedreader to get regular updates from us.