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Rookie Stress Program: Line Level Supervisor/Human Relations Training; Executive Summary Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
105 pages
This executive summary report on the Rookie Stress Program of the Miami Police Department (Florida) -- which provides proactive, preventive interventions that target the stress and emotional strains that are often experienced by rookie officers and their families -- also profiles a supplemental training program that provides intensive line-level supervisor skills training to all sergeants and field training officers in the department.
This project was an NIJ-funded pilot program to be evaluated and modified through ongoing process evaluation that would lead to the institutionalization of a model for other law enforcement agencies with interest in stress reduction programs. In a brief time period, the Miami Police Department and its consultants had to design, implement, and evaluate training programs. After listing the five primary goals of the Rookie Stress Program, this reports presents summaries of the content of the program's three sessions. Although the first session is somewhat structured and didactic, a significant amount of time is also allocated to working through any particular issues or stressors that officers and their significant others feel are important. Session two emphasizes stress management techniques and lifestyle habits that are conducive to minimizing psychological stress; provides an opportunity to discuss participants' progress and adjustment to law enforcement; discusses specific expectations they have or that they must meet to successfully continue their training; and addresses any stressors that have arisen since the first session and how they have handled stressful situations during their patrol duties. Further, additional pitfalls are addressed, and issues of police misconduct and corruption are discussed. The third session is more open-ended than the other two sessions and is directed by the participants' needs. Verbal feedback regarding their experiences in the counseling program is encouraged. This report provides data on the number of program participants and their attendance at the sessions as well as a chart that shows the percentage of participants who listed various work areas that constituted stressors. Other charts pertain to important topics in the program as rated by participants and the results of a survey on the stressful aspects in police work for rookie officers. The results of a participant satisfaction survey with the program are also included. Comments by participants regarding obstacles to participation in the program are outlined, followed by a summary of the content of session discussions with participants. Goals and data are provided for the supervisory skills training program for sergeant and field training officers. This program focuses on how these supervisory personnel can help rookie officers deal with the various job-related stressors. Program-related materials are included as well.

Date Published: January 1, 1998