The affects these problems have on Police Personnel
Intro to Criminal Justice
May 22, 2013
Domestic violence and Drug/alcohol abuse is common in our society. But did you know that these problems are even more common among Police Officers? When these problems occur on the force, what is done about it? What actions are taken to control these issues? This paper is about those questions exactly. In this reading you will find statistics on how common these problems actually are, punishments & repercussions, and also what causes these issues. Many times situations like these go ignored, and forgotten. How can these issues be avoided, prevented, or if not prevented then how can these issues be made less common? All these questioned will be answered in the reading. Just because a person is part of law enforcement doesn’t mean that abusive behavior and/or the abuse of drugs and alcohol are appropriate.
Domestic Violence is an act of violence or abuse towards a person living in the same house, normally a member of one’s immediate family or significant other. But did you know that DV is 2 to 4 times more common in law enforcement families than in the general population? 40% of officers reported themselves has having had used violence against their partners over the last year. Shockingly it is estimated that only 10% of the general population has experienced DV in their families. 123 police departments nationwide participated in a survey, which concluded that 45% of departments had no policy for dealing with DV involving an officer. Also in that survey it was concluded that the most common punishment for allegations regarding DV was counseling. 19% of those departments stated that in fact an officer would be terminated but only after 2 allegations regarding DV were made. Causes of DV involving an officer have been reported to be mainly work-related stressors. Being a victim of DV involving law enforcement is a very difficult situation. Problems a victim may have would be; the batterer always has a gun/weapon and is highly trained to use it, the batterer knows how to cause pain without leaving bruises/marks, officers are also trained to be intimidating just by their presence alone & to use their body as a weapon. Commonly the victim has the main problem of “How can I call the police…My attacker is the Police.” Many times the officer will tell his victim that if they report the problem to the police, they could lose their job, and if that happens…they’re dead. Being a law enforcer you know the court system, the district attorneys, judges, and bailiffs. Jurors also assume that an officer would never lie on the stand, so the victim is at a very bad disadvantage.
Drug/Alcohol abuse is also more common among law enforcement than many would believe. Some studies have estimated that drugs & alcohol abuse afflicts ¼ of all police officers in the U.S. Reasons behind this abuse have been revealed as occupational stress and sub-cultural issue which