An Analysis on Violence and Suicide among Police Officers

By Valeria-Liliana-Amelia, Purda-Nicoara (Netotea-Suciu | Public Administration Research, January 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

An Analysis on Violence and Suicide among Police Officers


Valeria-Liliana-Amelia, Purda-Nicoara (Netotea-Suciu, Public Administration Research


Abstract

Increased consumption and intensive computerization have generated an increasing interest in the production process and increased productivity at the expense of the human factor and its performance, and the progressive brutalization of occupations and organizations has become one of the most important sources of suffering at the workplace. Worrying mutations suffered by society are also reflected, of course, in individuals working for the police. For these reasons, it is necessary that being a policeman should be further examined in all its dimensions. The objective of this paper is to present some difficulties met by police officers, their behavior and their feelings, the sources of stress, pain or discomfort in the workplace so that these issues can be taken into account to improve the work climate, the professional practices in the field, and to prevent the negative impact these may have on police organizations.

Keywords: police officers, violence, suicide, improve the work climate

1. Introduction

The professional activity is an important issue for each individual, a center of their existence because, on the one hand, it occupies most of their time, and on the other hand, it contributes to the conception of each and every one of their selves.

By their profession, the policemen come into contact with violence, suffering or hatred, of more or less gravity, difficult to understand, and especially to face, and sometimes police officers can be the target of attacks themselves. Such acts committed against the police "enjoy" a special treatment on the part of the media such as the "news in brief' section, in written or audiovisual media, which usually focuses on the police drama, failing to show the effect of the tragic events on the institution and society. In the best case, these reprehensible acts generate promises of "zero tolerance" on the part of some members of the government, but things rarely change, and the phenomenon worsens even further.

The police profession is very special, by the authority conferred to the one who practices it, as representing the state and the citizen with the ability to compel the enforcement of the law. These attributes of the police officer, as the instrument of democracy and politics, as well as the work climate, underlie the state of dissatisfaction and insecurity felt ever more acutely by the police officers, and whose consequences are reflected on the identity of the police force.

2. The Work Climate

According to experts, the effects of an inadequate work environment are not insignificant, and they could become manifest in various forms, such as stress, violence, disengagement or disinterest, complaints, turnover of the best employees, absenteeism, illness and even suicide. An inadequate work climate often begins with stressed employees as a result of unresolved targets, too ambitious or unrealistic deadlines, never-ending conflicts, etc. The spark of the conflict can occur at any time, consisting in a commonplace gesture (a disturbing look, an act of impoliteness or a sudden change) and, most often, this generates a chain reaction (triggering back into attention old unresolved conflicts, verbal abuse, psychological violence, and so on). Faced with such a situation, the management is impassible or weak, and the conflict does not die out, because an unresolved problem of the work environment can only worsen in time.

Improving the work environment requires the establishment of a modern, humanistic and consistent personnel policy, which considers not only material problems, but also the improvement of human relations and training. In other words, the work climate is built at the highest levels of management and it is imposed "from above" through judicious application of appropriate principles, systematic actions and defining the responsibility of each member of the organization.

Violence while performing their duties and suicide have the most serious consequences on police organizations and their representatives. …

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