Major findings concerning job stress and strain among policemen compared to 22 other occupations are summarized, and the stress of low participation in decisions affecting one's work is analyzed. In addition, ways of reducing stress and strain in police work is discussed. Analysis of a lengthy questionnaire shows that police officers rate high on the stress of responsibility for other people, on the complexity of the work they do and on the stress of nonparticipation. They rate lower than average on the stresses of job insecurity and under-utilization of their best abilities on the job. Policemen show more satisfaction with their job than average and have a better than average fit between the complexity of their work and the complexity they would like to have. Generally, the person who reports high participation in decisions that affect his work also shows high productivity, good working relations with others in his environment including supervisor and subordinates, good affective state, good health, high self-utilization, positive attitude toward work, low role ambiguity and takes responsibility for things and people. The above depends, though, on whether the person has the amount of participation that he or she wants. It is recommended that job stress can be reduced by identifying men suffering from a poor fit with respect to job complexity and giving individual attention to them and by restructuring the job environment to produce an appropriate amount of participation in decision making.
Job Stress and the Police Officer: Identifying Stress Reduction Techniques, Proceedings of a Symposium, Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, NIOSH, HEW Publication No. (NIOSH) 76-187