For one to understand the results given in the article “Controlled Burn: The Gendering of Stress and Burnout in Modern policing” by Kurtz, one needs to understand the transparent of what officers are going through. Transparent is “An important feature of the scientific method that requires procedures, methods, and data analyses of any study to be presented clearly for the purposes of replication” (Bachman & Schutt, 2018, p. 6). The Holy Bible describes “stress” within the Scriptures as “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6, English Standard Version).
I do understand the results from being a former law enforcement official, as Kurtz points out “key points” in which officers go through on a daily bases and throughout their career. When working in law enforcement, the term “married to your job” usually applies strongly to one’s position, especially when they are a officer that works long hours for pay, stuck in a situation, and/or emergency (to name a few). But with this comes a affect in which is a give and take outlook, as one devotes their time to the job needs, this takes away from their personal or family life needs. The issue here comes to play “Officer stress is associated with a number of negative behaviors and psychological outcomes, including high rates of substance abuse, divorce, suicide, and violence” (p. 1). Why? One can see that, yes, the job and/or position can be stressful by working with the public, yet on the back end, if the position takes away from your family needs, then the outcome can be even more stressful from fighting a situation from both angles which can cause a person to cave in and have a negative outlook in life (give up).
What is a burnout? Help guide (2019) describe this as “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands”. I agree with the article, in the outlook that there is “no I in team, but there is we” when it comes to working as “one” in law enforcement, meaning; if one individual is going through issues, this issues can affect all (staff, public and departmental needs). As “Research supports the idea that stress leads to a number of problems for both the individual employed in law enforcement and the policing agency as a whole” (p.2). I do understand the results that contribute to one stress, for example on (p.2) describe “shooting someone” (as one may feel was this the correct approach, or what repercussion would I face) and “responding to a gruesome crime scene” (as the smell and images can have a haunting outcome).
Depending on the person (how strong they are mentally) and the resources they have (friends, family, and counseling) which can help relieve the stress, a build up of this can happen in a short-term or may take a long-term approach to how individuals can cope with such struggles. With such issues, the matter at hand can carry over from the work-place to home or from home to the work-place that can make matter even worse. If we think about stress, does the role which one has (having more positions or carrying more weight on their shoulders) carry more of an effect? This is where the gender aspect comes into play as “This relationship may be more pronounced for female officers who are expected to maintain domestic roles as mothers, wives, and caregivers; however, this issue has not been the target of much empirical evaluation” (p. 4). In addition, females can have more of a “burnout” due to how they are perceived on the workforce “Stress on male officers generates only moderate levels of burnout, whereas female officers show higher levels” (p.4).
One of the qualities of being a police officer is having a form of “tough skin” or being able to take the punches when they are delivered to one’s position. As the article states that the profession is looked as a masculinity opposed to femininity on how the structure and one characteristics are needed as part of the uniform. But the issue becomes more relevant when female officers does not have the support from their team as “Men either reified white women as objects of sexual desire or glorified secretaries. White male officers viewed Black women as a source of labor” (p. 7). From one outlook, the source of stress can be viewed as amplified because such individuals have more weight on their shoulders as they are taken on more negative outlook from everywhere. For this article does show that stress (p. 12) with a chart has a significant value compare to burnout of gender (women).
What recommendations do you have for presenting the results of this research so that a police executive could use them?
The following recommendations I have to present the results of this research so that police executive could use are as follow,
-First, recommending a EAP program and/or making it well known to the staff. A EAP program is “An employee assistance program (EAP) is a confidential workplace service that employers pay for. An EAP helps employees deal with work-life stressors, family issues, financial concerns, relationship problems, and even drug or legal concerns” (Handrick, 2018). As this program can help staff from having a negative outlook which in turn can help the department and public outlook.
– Second, have a form of leadership to provide equality throughout all members of the staff and set standards with policy. As this sets a “Setting a professional example for subordinates is mandatory. Law enforcement administrators should proactively create and explicity communicate to their subordinates that sexual harassment and other form of discrimination on the job will be met with zero tolerance and meet serious consequences if those behaviors are emitted in the workplace” (Grace, 2019).
-Third, can be from having a open-door policy that helps those who are in need be able to speak up and have their concerns heard. As this can promote healthy moral standards and resolve the issue with negative individuals who may be doing harm (can be a liability to the department if not handle appropriately).
Bachman, R. D., & Schutt, R. K. (2018) Fundamentals of research in criminology and criminal justice. (4th ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publication.
Grace, L. (2019). Solutions to common barriers for female officers. Hendon Media Group.
Handrick, L. (2018). What is an EAP (Employee assistance program) and how does it work?
Help Guide (2019). Burnout prevention and treatment. Techniques for dealing with overwhelming stress.
Kurtz, D. (2008). Controlled Burn: The gendering of stres and burnout in modern policing. Kansas State University. Volume 3 Number 3.