U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

On-the-Job-Stress in Policing--Reducing It and Preventing It

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Dated: January 2000 Pages: 18-24
Peter Finn
Date Published
January 2000
7 pages
This article summarizes a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) report that documents the causes and effects of job related stress on law enforcement officers and their families.
Sources of stress for police officers include their exposure to violence, suffering, and death. Some officers may view sentencing of offenders as too lenient; they may perceive the public's opinion of police performance to be unfavorable; they are required to work mandatory rotating shifts; and may not have enough time to spend with their families. High levels of violent crime, greater public scrutiny, adverse publicity, and changes in law enforcement such as the advent of community policing can also lead to more stress. The article reviews the physical and emotional effects of stress on police officers and on members of their families. Law enforcement agencies are increasingly turning to training programs that help supervisors identify signs of stress and domestic violence among officers' families, employee assistance programs both within and outside law enforcement, and stress reduction programs. The NIJ is sponsoring research, establishing pilot programs and conducing program evaluations that support State and local efforts to identify, deal with, and reduce job-related stress among law enforcement personnel. The article briefly describes stress-reduction programs in Baltimore, MD, and New York City, NY.