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Identification of Work and Family Services for Law Enforcement Personnel

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1997
200 pages
A three-phrase project that began in 1995 gathered information on work and family issues from the police officer's perspective and determine the existence and prevalence of work and family programs currently offered nationally by police agencies.
A pilot study developed a questionnaire to study work and family issues in law enforcement and gathered responses from 597 police officers in 21 agencies in western New York. Results revealed that work and family experienced influenced each other, that conflict between officers' roles as parent and spouse were minimal, and that officers lacked knowledge about programs available to assist them and their family members. The questionnaire was modified and sent to 4,480 police officers from New York City and surrounding agencies, Dallas and surrounding agencies, and Minneapolis and surrounding agencies. Responses came from 1,632 officers from 51 agencies. Sixty-eight percent had experienced one or more stress-related symptom within the last month, that the job did not have a great impact on their relationship with their spouse or partner, and that top management was less supportive of officers seeking assistance. Officers were aware of several services, but actual use of services was low. A survey that received responses from 380 agencies revealed that the most common service was chaplains, followed by employee assistance program coordinators and mental health professionals. The most common service for work and family support was post-shooting debriefing, followed by counseling, employee assistance programs, workout facilities, training in domestic assault, and insurance covering mental health services. Findings suggested the need for police officers to have greater knowledge and trust in support programs and more proactive recognition by agencies of the benefits of work and family support services. Appended instruments, background information and additional results, and 76 references

Date Published: January 1, 1997