Causes of Officer Stress and Fatigue
Enduring stress for a long period of time can lead to anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a psychological condition marked by an inability to be intimate, inability to sleep, increased nightmares, increased feelings of guilt and reliving the event.
For law enforcement officers, stress can increase fatigue to the point that decision-making is impaired and officers cannot properly protect themselves or citizens.
Factors That Can Cause Stress and Fatigue for Law Enforcement Officers
Work-related factors might include:
- Poor management.
- Inadequate or broken equipment.
- Excessive overtime.
- Frequent rotating shifts (see 10-Hour Shifts Offer Cost Savings and Other Benefits to Law Enforcement Agencies).
- Regular changes in duties — for example, spending one day filling out paperwork and the next intervening in a violent domestic dispute.
Individual factors might include:
- Family problems.
- Financial problems.
- Health problems.
- Taking second jobs to make extra income.