Living with a cop : a handbook for police officers and their families

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Fuller, Merle E
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2003
Early in my career, I observed a problem in the police subculture: that there was a lack of information and understanding about the attitudinal and behavioral changes new police officers experience when they join a police service and the subsequent dissonance this creates in the lives of officers and their family members. I wondered whether knowing that these changes are likely to occur when an individual becomes a police officer would help mitigate the stress on police officers and on their significant others. The current project provided me with the opportunity to thoroughly examine the issue, produce a book that acknowledges these changes, and empower the reader with information and support. Some may argue that any question is redundant if the answer is obvious; but is an obvious answer to a question necessarily obvious to those living the experience? Reflecting on my personal experience and that of my contemporaries, I suspect that many new police officers struggle with the emerging occupational identity, something not often discussed in the police subculture. Research into this issue provided authoritative data, that identified the cause and nature the attitudinal and behavioral changes, and the subsequent effects this has on the officer's family. Through personal introspection and the exploration of writings by authoritative researchers, practicing police psychologists, and family members of police officers, I learned that the development of an occupational identity, or working personality, is a common phenomenon among police officers across the country. Police officers share a common personality due to the harsh work environment in which they function and through close association with their coworkers. Hypervigilance, cynicism, labeling and social isolation are pervasive personality traits, which some officers are unable to shed when they leave work. These issues can result in the erosion of personal and nuclear relationships if not acted upon. In my handbook, I specifically address the necessity of developing open communication, social integration, personal organization and holistic wellness as salient measures necessary to sustain a healthy perspective on life and healthy relationships.
ix, 62 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Police -- Job stress , Police -- Family relationships , Police psychology , Law enforcement -- Psychological aspects