As a police officer, you know better than anyone that you hold one of the most hazardous jobs in the U.S. According to the FBI, 118 police officers were killed in the U.S. in 2016. Another 57,180 officers experienced assault, of which 28.9% were injured. You face those numbers every day that you report for duty.
Obviously, you signed up for the job because you can handle the stress, but police today are dealing with more complex calls and more monitoring than ever before. Additionally, reductions in employment and compensation mean that you are likely working double shifts or even taking a second job.
3 strategies for reducing fatigue
Having a well-cared-for police force only makes sense. Unfortunately, it may take time for conditions to improve. In the meantime, there are some strategies you can employ for reducing fatigue:
- Use your vacation time. Get away from it all and be with people who you can't talk shop with. Give your mind and body a break from the challenges of your job.
- Stay in touch. Communicate with your fellow officers and ask how they're doing. Whenever possible, help a fellow officer out, and hopefully they'll do the same for you.
- Focus on your health. A high stress lifestyle is hard on your body. An unhealthy diet and ignoring your physical health will results in depression, anxiety and a laundry list of physical ailments.
In this industry where high risk meets exhaustion, keep your eye out for signs of fatigue and learn what works for you. As the saying goes: you must put the air mask on yourself in order to serve others.