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Tired Cops: The Importance of Managing Police Fatigue

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2000
181 pages
This book integrates both existing and current research on police fatigue providing police managers and officers with the knowledge to develop policies associated with shift scheduling and work-hour policies.
Fatigue is seen as a widespread problem that has the potential of degrading police officers’ health, safety, and performance. Results from objective, subjective, and qualitative research methods point to a substantially higher level of fatigue and fatigue impairment among police patrol officers than among the general population. This book, sponsored under a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, integrates information written over the past 20 years from a series of articles, book chapters, research reports, and editorials on police fatigue in an attempt to better understand the causes and effects of police fatigue, work hours, shift work, and scheduling in order to develop policies and programs in addressing these issues. The book consists of an overview of current knowledge about fatigue, shift work and scheduling, a review of recent research on fatigue and work hours, important research questions needing answers, a review of how to minimize officer fatigue, and suggestions in the development of work-hour policies. Police managers and leaders need to develop work-hour standards and procedures to minimize fatigue and ensure alertness, develop and implement thorough fatigue management plans, establish permanent employee/manager fatigue task forces to monitor compliance with related policies and regulations, and identify new problems and opportunities for ensuring officer alertness on the job. Appendices A-E, figures, and tables

Date Published: January 1, 2000