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Organizational Approach to Developing a Stress Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2000
300 pages
A project conducted by the Longview Police Guild in Longview, WA, started in December 1998 and funded by the National Institute of Justice, focused on the use of an organizational approach to address police occupational stress.
The team that conducted the project consisted of representatives from labor, city and police agency administration, insurance and medical providers, family members, neighboring police jurisdictions, and ancillary services, including dispatch and the prosecutor’s office. The group met 18 times and used brainstorming and the setting of priorities to develop program criteria and design the program. The project also included a workshop on police risk and protective factors for stress, stress management training for about half of the officers and families, and a survey of 25 percent of the police officers and many of their spouses. Results of the survey revealed that local confidential counseling was a high priority for police officers and spouses. Fatigue was the greatest symptom of stress reported by both officers and spouses. The highest priority for program development was an employee assistance program, followed by an orientation for new hires and spouses, and annual training and awareness for veteran officers and families. The implementation plan used a conceptual approach that was holistic and emphasized grassroots approaches. The group concluded that its work was challenging and interesting as it worked through the normal stages of group development to achieve a level of function to support the production of a targeted and effective stress prevention program for Longview police officers and their families. Appended instrument, workshop materials, reprints of journal articles, and background information

Date Published: May 1, 2000