The field of law enforcement builds on human capital – that is accomplishing the roles and responsibilities of law enforcement institutions is highly dependent on its members. Therefore, applying concepts related to human resources development or HRD to law enforcement policies and practices is highly relevant. Human resources development starts with the assessment of the human capital in order to determine deficiencies or inadequacies regarding their law enforcement related knowledge, skills, and other required capabilities or competencies (Lee, 2001).
The results of the human resources evaluation or assessment will enable law enforcement institutions to establish developmental activities that will enhance aforementioned capabilities. To relate the significance of HRD to law enforcement, it is relevant to discuss a certain scenario wherein the improvement or development of the human capital is most needed. For instance, HRD is much needed in providing law enforcement officers with the knowledge, skills, capabilities or competencies to handle stress and pressure in their line of job.
Stress is highly destructive, influencing the work efficiency and productivity. The main reasons behind the detrimental impact of stress to law enforcement are the inability of law enforcement officers to handle stress and pressure in their work and their lack of capacity to control how extensive or minimal it will influence them. Thus, establishing a program, which is anchored to HRD, to address this issue is highly necessary.
(Finn & Tomz, 1996) The expected effects of stress programs as part of HRD is to help law enforcement officers in cutting back stress experienced while working and consequently enhance work efficiency and productivity. Moreover, stress programs help build the strong character of law enforcement officers by boosting their self-confidence, thus, providing them self-assurance to accomplish tasks and responsibilities without worries.
The purpose of stress programs that are initiated by the concept of HRD is that it aims is to protect law enforcement officers from accidents or other risks or threats brought about by stress and pressure that lead them to undergo early retirement because of health concerns, such as illnesses or disabilities due to stress. Another reason is to reduce the burden or disasters that stress might impose on the public sphere. (Finn & Tomz, 1996) Stress programs, as part of HRD, covers only one aspect of law enforcement as an occupation.
There are other concerns, such as cultural awareness, involvement in community policing, technical or practical knowledge and skills, jurisdiction, discretion, etc. Perhaps a major concern in implementing stress programs is how effective or how great the impact will be on improving performance of law enforcement officers when there are other issues or concerns that also need to be addressed. Moreover, is it highly necessary to a lot precious time and exert effort in stress programs under the confidence that it will lead to better performance, efficiency, and productivity.
The answers to these questions are yet to be argued. Perhaps in order to ensure that stress programs will result to desirable outcomes aligned with the goals and objectives of law enforcement institutions, there is a need to conduct needs assessment and position the concept of HRD to organizational goals and objectives. (Lee, 2001) Establishing programs to foster HRD practices is not simple. The decision to do so should stem out from major issues or concerns that are worth the time and attention as the field of law enforcement will need all available time and resources to accomplish its roles and responsibilities.
With this in mind, implementing HRD programs, especially stress programs, should be based on informed decision-making processes, such that law enforcement institutions are able to obtain significant information regarding the condition of law enforcement officers when it comes to stress. If results reveal that stress hinders law enforcement efficiency and productivity consequently affecting the realization of law enforcement goals and objectives, then there is a pressing need to implement stress programs anchored to the concepts underlying HRD.Considering the development of human resources should always correspond to organizational goals and objectives (Lee, 2001). .
Finn, P. & Tomz, J. E. (1996). Developing a Law Enforcement Stress Program for Officers and Their Families. Retrieved October 26, 2008, from NCJRS. Website: http://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles/163175. pdf Lee, M. (2001). A Refusal to Define HRD. Human Resource Development International, 4(3), 327-341.