Police Stress Christianity-Based Stress Therapy in Law Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1222 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Police Stress

Christianity-Based Stress Therapy in Law Enforcement

The archetypal law-enforcement agent is a stolid figure with an unshakeable volition to uphold legal standards against odds of physical danger, political implication and personal temptation. However, a more realistic perspective on the modern police officer illustrates that in fact, to proscribe an idealized image of the perfect law-enforcement candidate as being impermeable to the extraordinary pressures of such work is to do a fundamental disservice to the occupational and psychological needs of this social group. The notion that a police officer should be capable of functioning in spite of the unique perils of his occupation is being supplanted today by the expectation that proper psychological evaluation and support of officers is a crucial aspect of contending with the circumstances inbuilt to the work. The research conducted here indicates that effective profiling is necessary in order to ensure that recruited agents possess the psychological capacity to withstand the stressors of the job and that further, proper stress-counseling for officers may be benefited by the incorporation of a Christian perspective.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Research Paper on Police Stress Christianity-Based Stress Therapy in Law Assignment

The discussion proceeds from the basic assumption that law enforcement agents are particularly susceptible to stress-related psychological health dangers. Kurke (1995) notes that "far from being viewed as invincible, police are seen as individuals who, because of their repeated exposure to scenes of carnage and mayhem, may be especially at risk for the development of stress symptoms." (Kurke, 170) the consequences of these stress symptoms can weigh heavily on the effectiveness of an entire precinct, with job attentiveness, job conduct and a relationship between the officer and his department often suffering considerably. It is therefore recommendable that every law-enforcement agency with the means develop an internal psychology department, composed of therapists who specialize in effective stress management. Such a strategy could be significant in bringing managerial and operational effectiveness to the whole of the organization.

It is not uncommon for stress to effect the morale which officers bring to the job, with a bevy of negative or numbing work experiences creating a psychological defense pattern which predisposes an individual to an emotional disconnect from the proceedings of his occupation. The emergence of cynicism amongst law-officers may be widespread in urban or impoverished settings, where crime and public discontent will tend to provoke a conception of normalcy thereto. "Specifically referring to police, some authors have considered cynicism to be either serving a functional purpose, such as insulating the police from society (Niederhoffer 1967; Tifft 1974), or acting as an ineffective coping mechanism." (Stearns, 127) Though this may constitute a seemingly minimal concern within the larger framework of maintaining civil order, police cynicism may actually point to burgeoning concerns of efficiency and conduct.

Such dictates the need for and current implementation of personality profiling tests in hiring practices. Psychologists are delegated to provide input on whether applying officers are possessing of the makeup to avoid such pitfalls as these aforementioned. "The typical psychologist involved with personnel selection would use personality test results to assist selection boards to either "screen-in" or "screen-out" applicants for police work." (O'Connor, 1). The elevated danger of working in this field may have the effect of invoking in poor law-enforcement candidates a set of behaviors which will either be considered ethically inappropriate or in the dereliction of duty. Deviations from proper enforcement behavior may include ethnically-based prejudicial treatment of potential suspects, distortions of legal code for self-interest and the concession to corrupt.

To some extent, such officers are to be considered unique cases, wherein the vetting process of hiring has failed to pinpoint psychological indices of a candidate unfit for service. Likewise, misappropriation of law-enforcement power may often be a product of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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