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Stress in Law Enforcement
Stress and Law Enforcement
Professionals of law enforcements are responsible for some crucial and informative decision-making in their offices and fields which requires a standard operating procedures or codes to find the solutions of many issues. This procedure may look simple at first glance, but it can easily build up stress due to unpredictable situations and add up of infinite variables of the general public. Law enforcement officials have been expected to sustain discipline and remain neutral during the attempt of solving disputes safely. Physical and mental stress takes toll when professionals are observed by public and constantly stay under surveillance. Physical danger linked with work performance is the highest stress triggered (Bennett and Hess, 2007).
There are many forms of stress which vary according to the sources and the personal responses linked with it. Stress is usually categorized as acute and chronic stress and further categorized as traumatic as well as cumulative stress. These classifications aid professionals to acknowledge symptoms along with choosing treatment options available depending on the level of stress endured by a person. Professionals affiliated with law enforcements have to suffer extreme as well as unexpected acute stress which might lead to physical and psychological variations causing negative influence on their performance at work (Bennett and Hess, 2007).
Unlike acute stress, chronic stress does not takes place in person intensely but it builds up with time and can eventually cause weaknesses. This stress may have less severe reaction and also occur and diminish in law enforcement personnel without their knowledge of having stress. For instance, an officer may suffer chronic stress if he has to do filing paperwork after a twelve hours tiring shift. The thought of doing such task may trigger chronic stress in law enforcement personnel (Bennett and Hess, 2007).
There is a list of causes and resources triggering a stress which could be included in this paper, however some of those recourses can be known through an interview of Officer Huggins from the Police Department at the Gwinnett County. As a k-9 officer, he is not just responsible for the protection of his own interest but is also responsible for his service dogs and public whom he has pledged to serve and protect. Moreover, Officer Huggin's life partner is also an officer the Gwinnett County Police Department. Thus they have a combination of exponential sources which could trigger work related stress. In his interview, Officer Huggins revealed an interesting insight that he doesn't not only have work related stress but there are also various sources of stress caused in his off-duty communications with general public and his personal life. This insight suggests that law enforcement officials have same amount of stress on their duty and in their personal lives (Bennett and Hess, 2007).
As it is already discussed, the effect of stress can be witnessed immediately or stress can increase with the passage of time devoid of being recognized. Stress may influence health, feelings, behavior and thoughts of the law enforcement professionals. According to the study held by Mayo clinic, stress is associated with physical effects resulting in headaches, chest pain, muscle tension, stomach disorders, drugs abuse, and angry outbursts, under eating, sleeping disorders, sex drive reductions or social withdrawals. These physical effects cause decreased productivity. Other than these physical as well as behavioral problems that law enforcement officer experiences, there are factors which may also affect their mental conditions resulting in anxiety, sadness or depression. These symptoms or sources when combined can become a strong force against human ability to perform positively in daily life operations. Moreover, these can also destruct the morals and values of a person or a whole department and possibly de motivate the entire working force (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2013).
Identification of causes of stress is an important step to determine the effects of stress and stress management in different situations which law enforcement professionals have to face on a constant basis. Most of the law enforcement professionals have to cope up with daily stress at work and they have found personal solutions to reduce stress. Moreover, there are formal stress management techniques which are implied by the management of the organization or department. These stress management technique may include a physical training program held by the department itself. This program is considered crucial for law enforcement officers and helps them to perform well at their jobs. It also enables them to maintain healthy lifestyle at work and helps to reduce work-related stress. These programs can further aid in stress reducing efforts by creating the understanding of stress and its impact in the working force and high level management. Managers should be trained to recognize the stress symptoms in their employees. Communication trainings should be held to understand the personal triggers of stress of each individual employee. Managers who want a proper stress management in their department should properly address to the issues causing stress within work place. Managers are responsible to maintain the policies of stress management and they should be the giving the first line of response for the acknowledgment of stress related indications (Sewell, 2000).
UN Human Rights Universal Declaration and The Saint Leo Universities community core values
Integral part of Saint Leo's mission statement is about creating a student centered environment where love for learning will hold a primary importance. Community members will be expected to express their ideas and values, also listen and respond to the ideas of others respectfully, give others a warm welcome in their lives and show caring attitude towards God's creations.
There is also a part of United Nation's statement which says that all human have been born with equal rights and essential freedom. United Nations commit to uphold, promote and protect the basic human rights. This commitment from United Nations enables the people of this world to have faith in basic human rights, and know the worth and dignity of oneself. United Nations clearly stated all the fundamental right and terms equally owned by every person.
Saint Leo has 6 fundamental concepts of values which we all should strive hard to uphold. These values are excellence, community, respect, personal development, integrity and responsible stewardship. These values will further be summarized with comparison to 30 principles of United Nations Human Rights.
Saint Leo's value, excellence states that they strive hard to ensure the character development of students, make them learn the skills and knowledge which is essential to become a responsible leader. Excellence is not just an act but a habit.
Principle 6 of united nation human rights defines the right of equal treatment to everyone by law.
Next value for Saint Leo is the community and it is about fostering spirits of unity, interdependence and belonging on the basis of mutual respect and trust in order to form a socially responsible environment and it will allow people to listen, learn, change and serve.
Principle 19 and 20 of United Nation human rights states that every individual has the freedom of speech and to express their ideas. Also everyone has the freedom to participate in meetings as well as join associations according to their will in a peaceful manner.
Third value is respect which again states the spirit of belonging, unity and interdependence on the basis of mutual respect and trust in order to form a socially responsible environment. This means to honor person's religion, values, family traditions, achievement and status.
According to United Nation principles, everyone has the right to practice their own religion and belief and one can change his religion according to his will but despite all the religion, beliefs, skin color, sex and language every individual has equal human rights.
Personal development is another virtue in Saint Leo's community. It stresses on the development of person's mind, spirit as well as body for a balanced life. According to this value, every member should make an effort and commitment to individual development in order to fortify the character of community.
Article 29 of United Nations says to respect other's rights and public property while the article number 16 says that everyone has the right to make a family and have marriage.
Responsible Stewardship is to encourage the employment of resources for university and community development. Students and community members should be resourceful.
Article 25 of United Nations states that everyone has the right to have healthy life style and one can acquire medical aid if required. There are resources available for the aid and no one can deny the rights of these aids.
Integrity is the value which commits Saint Leo to excellence. Every member, student and staff should vow to be honest, just as well as consistent with words and deeds.
Article 21 states that everyone has the right to help, choose or take part in government of the country.
There may not exist a permanent method to eradicte stress from the organization or diminish the influence of stress on law enforcement officials but the impact…[continue]
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