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Evaluating the Effects of Fatigue on Police Patrol Officers: Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2000
122 pages
Publication Series
This study evaluates the prevalence and effects of objectively measured fatigue on a sample of patrol officers.
The study analyzed data on police work hours, work hour policies and procedures, accidents, injuries, illnesses, misconduct, and citizen complaints. It included self-report surveys and focus groups involving officers and their families, as well as data derived from computer-based noninvasive eye reaction tests of readiness for duty. Officers who routinely worked more consecutive hours than would be legal in other public service industries displayed levels of fatigue six times higher than those found among shift workers in industrial and mining jobs. In addition, high levels of sleep pathologies were found from the self-report measures of sleep quality where only 26 percent of officers reported averaging the seven or more hours of sleep per day that research finds are minimally required for good health. The study examined many causes and correlates of fatigue and reached preliminary conclusions about fatigue’s impact on officers’ health, safety, and performance. The report offers guidelines for reducing fatigue or ameliorating its effects. References, appendixes, tables

Date Published: February 1, 2000