Essay on Police Behavior
Number of words: 602
Like other professionals, law enforcement agencies need to maintain strong and healthy work culture. The police are held to a higher standard than other professions because of their critical role in law enforcement. The officers are tasked with law enforcement, thus should maintain high standards to execute their mandate freely. High work standards ensure that the police can work effectively. Such strong standards are essential as they promote work ethics and behavior. For instance, high standards exhibited by the police help in developing trust between officers at various police management levels (Boateng, 2013). Additionally, by maintaining higher standards than other professions, the police create a system of checks and balances that execute their duties with the highest integrity levels. Boateng (2013 adds that high standards are critical to ensuring cohesion within the police force and effective execution of responsibilities. The public expects the police to maintain high work standards as they are directly involved in implementing the law. When a police officer is engaged in mischievous acts such as violating rules and regulations, the public is likely to lose trust and credibility on them. This aspect makes policing more difficult as the public always focuses on the police work ethics and professional standards.
Higher professional standards are arguably critical to communal and constitutional policing. When the police set higher standards, the public and other professional bodies see the police as a legitimate body which makes the work of the police easier (Boateng, 2013). The people and other professional bodies willingly cooperate with the police when the police set high professional standards. For this reason, therefore, the police need to develop and maintain higher professional standards compared to other professions.
In executing their duties, the police experience several challenges and stresses. For instance, the police have to handle a huge workload. Research shows that the police force has developed a hostile culture, whereby the policing work violates the wellbeing of the officers (Houdmont, 2016). The police are expected to work beyond odd hours and thus this culture adversely affect their wellbeing because they are expected to perform duties without complaining or reporting to anyone. For this reason, therefore, the police find themselves stressed over the vast workload. Another source of stress for the police is the police administration. Police leaders have been mentioned in several cases as the leading causes of stress for junior officers. The police administration exerts much pressure on police officers, an aspect that exacerbates anxiety, especially when the junior officers cannot meet the demands. In some extreme cases, the police are a subject of violence from the administration, a factor that leads to workplace pressure (Houdmont, 2016). The other common cause of stress among the police is physical and psychological threats amongst the force. The police are always facing the risk of physical harm from criminals and terror groups. Indeed, there are several reported cases of police killed in the line of duty. Additionally, the police face psychological torture, especially when they receive public criticism (Houdmont, 2016). There are also reports indicating that the police could face stress due to a lack of support. The police need psychological help because of the nature of work requirements. Without an elaborate support mechanism, the police find it difficult in managing their negative emotions, often falling into depression due to excess work pressure and lack of emotional support.
Boateng, F. D. (2013). Restoring the lost hope: A multidimensional approach for building public trust in the police. JIJIS, 13, 33.
Houdmont, J. (2016). Stressors in police work and their consequences. In Stress in Policing (pp. 50-65). Routledge.