Counseling Issues and Police Diversity
Today law enforcement officers are individuals diverse in culture, gender, and sexual orientation. Police work is stressful; being an ethnic minority, female, or homosexual in any workplace including police departments is also stressful. Common police stressors may be intragroup, organizational, interpersonal, or individual in nature (Violanti, 1988). With so many types of pressures involved in police work, the causes present an infinite number of possibilities requiring exploration by helping professionals. However, peer counselors, managers, psychologists, or counselors charged with counseling minorities, women, and homosexuals should expect that in addition to the traditional rationale supplied by clients regarding their perceptions of stress-related complaints unique to police work, such as inferior assignments or nonempathetic supervisors, when counseling minorities, counselors and managers will frequently encounter complaints unique to minorities as well as the perception of the origin of those complaints.