A Law Enforcer is a servant who protects the public from evils while also
having the skill and courage to fight in battle. Law enforcement jobs are
challenging as well hazardous in multiple ways. The officials are often mandated
to respond to and solve diverse violent situations for internal to external
peace of a country. Thereby, they may often be pressured to apply deadly force
to resolve such dangerous incidents effectively.
However, the coin has two sides. Officers are called upon to save and protect
victims of crimes too for e.g. Battered women, abused children, who resemble
them to as compassionate guardians too. It may be inferred that law enforcers,
as frontline professionals, undertake a dual role: that of the Justice league
and that of the social worker.
Especially which was bought into the limelight in the course of this pandemic of
Where countries imposed lockdown and quarantines for the general public
protection, law enforcers had to be in fields to make certain the regulation
enforced was observed and practiced .As well they reached to help folks who
required it, endangering their health.
These officials are always expected to carry out well and make the right choices
even under severe stress. The Government, their higher authorities and the
public in general pressurize the officials not only to be healthy, but also to
hold high overall performance levels in the line of duty. As cited above, during
their work shifts officers are expected not only to use force to arrest a
criminal, however additionally to suppress certain feelings when responding to
calls for service. However, what we ought to take into account is that they too
are humans and that they have their very own personal and family lives to take
At the end of their shift, they return back home and they have to
adapt to the roles of parent, spouse, sibling, friend, and so on. In turn, their
families expect them to behave as such and not as law enforcement officials.
Therefore, it is supreme that the officials have the ability to transiting
roles, hence identitiesfrom legal lifestyles to personal lifestyles and vice
versa. When people handle more than one role they experience role strain and
difficulty in meeting given role's demands.
The officers way of life is perfused by a completely unique lifestyle termed as
acculturation with its own tenets, values, beliefs. Their way of life isn't
monolithic, but rather encompasses specialized groups and units who have their
very own specific values, beliefs, and tenets (e.g., police detectives, canine
handlers, crime scene investigators etc.
The officials are regularly
acculturated into police way of life by the perception that they're supposed to
be stronger than the rest of civilians because of their mandate to serve and
shield the public, and above all to respond to critical incidents in which
civilians lack the proper training and competency to respond on their own. The
belief to be more potent and braver than ordinary civilians may help
officers' survival on the street; however, it can also be antagonizing in
conditions when officials want to ask for psychological/physical/emotional help.
One of the traditional ethos is that the concept law enforcers who're very well
skilled to combat violent forces are supposed to be robust physically and
Gender role conflicts are also major concern. The idea that men are speculated
to be tough, self-reliant, and independent comes with an intense price to law
enforcers. Help-seeking behaviors, specifically those associated with mental
health support, are incongruent to the traditional ethos of policing. Therefore,
stress or trauma-associated troubles may emerge as destructive for male law
enforcement officials' mental and physical fitness.
One of the most common stressors is the Negative stress in particular
experienced in the workplace, as per the studies in psychology. Stress and
stressors are different for each individual. And the effect of the strain may be
accompanied by negative physical or mental changes.
The officials experience organizational pressure due to authoritarian
supervisors, rapid shift rotations without days off, heavy workloads, and so
forth. John Volanti, a research professor at State University of New York, has
dedicated his research to examine the effect of work-associated stress and
trauma on law enforcement officials' health. Violanti and co-workers have
found empirical evidences that law enforcers have a higher chance of
experiencing cardiovascular illnesses in comparison to the general population
Additional findings have indicated that officials also are at chance for
elevated hypertension, glucose intolerance and many more.
Another concern was
that officials leaving their jobs, the various reasons for them to leave their
jobs have been lack of help from governing bodies, in respect to public and
Factors taking a toll on officers consist of data overload, having to adapt to
new technologies, dealing with social media impacts and deceptions, and being
under a high level of scrutiny even when off duty. Law enforcement today faces
an unexpectedly moving landscape, with demanding situations on each front. The
pace of change is increasing. Incidents go from local to national in seconds.
And the ramifications can be lasting.
Reports by media regarding their flaws in
crime solving can create more organizational pressures for immediate and
accurate New types of crimes, superior technologies, and evolving relationships
with the communities are moving the very foundations of law enforcers works. New
tools and a brand new police strategy, one that goes past entirely enforcement
or network engagement are in needed. But success at those modifications would
require a shift to the culture and improvements in the running strategies or
methods in their works results.
New types of crimes, superior technologies, and evolving relationships with the
communities are moving the very foundations of law enforcers works (repeating).
New tools and a brand new police strategy, one that goes past entirely
enforcement or network engagement are in needed. But success at those
modifications would require a shift to the culture and improvements in the
running strategies or methods in their works. CITATION Uni08 \l 1033
The mental health of the offending officer plays a huge function in the criminal
professional field. A 2019 study observed that officials who self-pronounced
engaging in abusive police practices tended to have higher degrees of PTSD
It is feasible that officials with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from
job-associated stressors and trauma may have an extended startle response, a
bent towards suspicion, and issues with aggression. These tendencies could make
it much more likely that they'll overreact and use lethal pressure when not
necessary. However, it's also possible that engaging in excessive force effects
in a sense of profound guilt and moral harm that in turn lead to PTSD.
researchers theorize that traits of "psychopathy", additionally referred to as
antisocial personality disorder (APD), are more familiar in law enforcement
officials than the general population. Traits which include "fearless dominance"
or "cold-heartedness" can be adaptive in dangerous or emotionally charged
situations. It is unlikely that APD, which is very rare, ought to give an
explanation for maximum police brutality cases. Personal issues experienced by
them may also increase the probability of them accomplishing excessive force,
which include relationship troubles or different stressful life events.
New types of crime, new technologies, and nerve-racking relationships with the
communities are transferring the very nature of their work. Officers are
increasingly being asked to do tasks beyond core law enforcement, which include
handling the mentally ill or being the front line in fighting overdose deaths.
Technology and demographic shifts are converting the, who, what, where, and the
way of law enforcement work. Their work is one among the dangerous and calls for
unique training tactics. These all can take a toll on the mental stress and
The stigma for seeking help for mental health problems has a distinguished
effect on precluding officers from psychological help-seeking. In parallel, they
are often skeptical to seek mental assistance; that is, such a method is
considered as stigmatizing in policing. Moreover, cops may harbor fears both of
being newly recognized in addition to of getting their preceding mental
histories discovered in a type of manner that it is able to adversely have an
effect on their police profession e.g., overall performance ratings, getting
promoted. As a result, a few them prefer to seek maladaptive coping skills e.g.,
alcohol, avoidance, as a desperate attempt to dissipate signs and symptoms
associated with intense strain and trauma .
Alternatively, officials may employ
certain defense mechanisms inclusive of repression, displacement, isolation of
feelings, and humor (callous or crass kind of humor) to shun the debilitating
effect of trauma and strain.
Consequently, officials are trapped in a vicious
cycle that includes the subsequent components: occupational trauma and strain;
maladaptive dealing with recognize to annoying thoughts, emotions, and memories;
and deterioration of mental and physical health.
Specifically, officials believe that clinicians do not understand police work.
In addition, inquiries by clinicians into personal and early life experiences
can be interpreted as attempts to patronize officers; as a result they think
that their identities as people who serve and shield may be undervalued in the
context of therapy.
In addition to stress and coping associated with occupational and organizational
stressors of policing, officials experience interpersonal and family stress
which may also compound their line of duty strain. Furthermore, they may also
recall health-related symptoms of severe pressure, trauma, or distress as
somatic or as simply physical. Officers who reported extended mental health
distress included suicidal ideation, anxiety, and depressive signs and symptoms.
But all of them preferred to consult general physicians rather than a
psychological clinician or a therapist. Law enforcement organizations currently
lack adequate resources to address those stressors.
Views to look upon
One and the most important aspect to look upon is recruiting more Forensic or
Police psychologists who study and specializes in and about the mental,
emotional health of Law Enforcement officers.
Identifying best practices for physical, mental, and emotional aid of officers;
developing an early identification and intervention device for officer burnout
and suicide; and conducting studies on sources and the impact of stress.
Best options and plans should be opened up for physical, mental, and emotional
support of law enforcement officers, families, and agencies. Research and
studies ought to be on going to identify sources of stress and their severe
impacts on officers. Police psychologists should be working with the law
enforcement officers to know and evaluate their current issues and challenges in
the agencies. As well according to which they will be able to develop
assessments, clinical interventions and preventions, operational consultation,
give wellness and support. Policies and procedures intervened should be flexible
and adaptable to meet the needs of officers, their families and as well as the
organizations they work for.
'Law enforcement officers are never off duty.' They are dedicated as public
servants who are sworn to protect public safety at any time and place that the
peace is threatened. They need all the help that they can get' Barbara Boxer,
They work for the country day and night to protect and preserve. Extreme stress
and trauma are inherent to law enforcement works. Although these officers are
more resilient compared to the general population, they are human beings; hence,
the role of psychological support is essential for officers to maintain their
health and high levels of job performance while in duty. Hence it's our duty
to help and support the officers in need. They are our heroes who risk their
lives for the peaceful functioning of our country.
Kon18 \l 1033 (Konstantinos, 2018
Written By: Sabrin Mariam Philip
Qualification: B.Sc. (honors) Forensic Science, Currently pursuing MA
Criminology with specialization in Forensic Psychology.