chapter  10
18 Pages

Law Enforcement Families

WithElizabeth K. White, Audrey L. Honig

Law enforcement employers since the early 1970s have begun to recognize a need to assist employees dealing with work-related stressors, both as an obligation to the employee and for self-preservation of the agency (absenteeism, stress retirements, etc.). Overall, this concept of stress and the workplace, however, is still a relatively new phenomena with a whole range of resources, or lack thereof, actually existing to address this reality. The idea that the work environment of law enforcement could have some impact on an employee including that employee's level of work productivity and general physical and emotional health, now seems generally accepted. There has even been some acceptance within the law enforcement community of the fact that this relationship is probably not unidirectional; the families may also impact and be impacted by the job. Indeed, some modicum of services to families has been in existence in some agencies for many years. The notion, however, that there exists a complex, cyclic relationship between the work life and home life of peace officers with each impacting and being impacted by the other has only recently moved to the forefront (Bibbens, 1986; Hartsough, 1991; Platt, 1975; Stratton, 1975).