ABSTRACT

Stress is broadly defined as any condition that has adverse consequences for an individual's well-being. Adverse consequences include psychological characteristics such as depression, and physical characteristics might be suicide or divorce. When police stress is subjected to this medical model, we see that stress reduction techniques are wholly of the secondary or tertiary kind. Like a continuously nagging cough, chronic organizationally induced stress is an integral presence in the everyday work environment of police officers. Legitimacy is whether influential constituents, who can be groups or individuals, agree with the way police do their work. Police organizations are embedded in municipal and county politics, and departments are tied to other community groups who can make police work exceedingly unpleasant at both the executive and line levels. For a police chief, maintaining legitimacy requires that they balance their expectations with those of municipal and departmental constituencies.