Importance of Psychological Fitness in Law Enforcement

Introduction

The life is the most precious things, which is given by the nature to us. We live life on our own terms and conditions but we take care of the limitations between the legal and the illegal. Many of the people believe that there are no restrictions in the life and there should not be. Lives without taking care of the rules and regulations generally create panic for the law and order situation in the any country or society.

These types of people are out of control of their activities and they are unaware of what they are doing. They do not have any means of other people’s panic and miseries. They only take care of their own luxuries and to stop and prevent these sorts of people from such crimes special working cells known as Law Enforcement Agencies have been created in all parts of the world.

In life, everyone has some rules and some ways to live the life. To lead a happy life it is necessary to follow some of the terms and conditions, which we made by ourselves and some of these restrictions are made by the government of the desired country in which we live. It is necessary to abide all the rules, either the government makes them or either they are self-made. These terms and conditions are made so that we could do everything in limitations. These terms and conditions or rules are made by a man or woman who wants comfort, both socially, physically and psychologically in his or hers life.

Whenever there is an emergency, we call upon the Law Enforcement Agencies. When there is a robbery in our house, whether it is a bomb hoax or whether a fire has broken out or it is the case of a murder. We call the Law Enforcement Personnel to solve the criminal issue. Have we ever wondered that how these people would surrender around their jobs to see the horrific scenes of some body’s murder or a bomb blast? Are not they humans or they have special eyes that can bear the horrible scenes of any body’s death?

We cannot imagine of a picturesque of someone’s death because it requires tolerance and stamina, which we lack in ourselves. These law enforcement agents bear these kind of scenes almost daily and due to this many of them complain of having traumatic diseases, while some of them lose their mental balance or some of them go into the world of depression from which plunging them out is a quite difficult task.

The law enforcement or police officers are not sure of their next breath because every time the danger of death is upon them because they fight criminals. Many of the law enforcement agents die while fighting with fire or criminals in gang wars.

The stamina of a person to control him or herself is called enforcement.  The word enforcement comes from the following summary of terms and conditions. The word enforcement refers to the act to enforce or obedience. It simply means that controlling us towards the illegal activities of the society or illegal or wrong activities even in our homes.

The word law enforcement refers to protect the law, terms and conditions made by the government. These terms and conditions are protected by the law enforcement agencies. If anyone tries to break the laws, he or she has to pay the charges or he is punished on breaking the laws. They can relate to anything, and a good citizen has to follow the rules made by the government or he is sentenced some severe punishments or small charges. The illegal acts such as murdering, robberies, street crimes, breaking the traffic rules and trafficking and smuggling are termed as for immediate arrest and strict actions are taken against the criminal.

The law enforcement agencies contain or hire people who can protect the law by the armors or weapons given to them for the protection of law and order. Besides understanding the term law enforcement it is also necessary to understand the term psychological fitness.

Psychological fitness refers to many meanings. It varies condition to condition that on which psychological condition does the definition suits. The term psychological fitness here refers to mental health or normal behavior. People who are psychologically fit, are seen very often in Law Enforcement Departments as these sort of jobs require mentally ill people who can bear the screams and tears of criminals and many times innocent people who suffer day and night in pain, and its their fate that no body sympathetic is there.

Law enforcement agencies contain the most common protection people known as Police, while the police are divided into these groups: Traffic Police (for controlling the traffic), Police (for reacting towards illegal actions of the society). Law enforcement agencies also contain high ups for resolving issues that police cannot solve. They have CID (Crime Investigation Department) police or CIA (Crime Investigation Agencies) for major conflicting situations. These agencies contains detective and they are not uniformed like police. They are special investigating departments and so they all render civil dress so that no body could identify them as police agents.

The Law enforcement agencies need strong people for their offices. They take tests of candidates who apply for the required posts in these agencies. If they do not fulfill the required criteria then they are not qualified for the desired post. In these kinds of Law enforcement jobs it is necessary to be fit and healthy. Physical fitness is the required criteria. It has its own importance, as some weak agents cannot do this job.

They require physically, mentally and psychologically strong people. Physically strong people to catch and fight the criminals and mentally or psychologically strong people are more must and necessary than the physically strong people. In that connection mentally strong people are given more importance because they think beyond limitations. They are very useful there when no one is able to resolve conflicting cases or issues. This kind of sharp and strong people are needed everywhere in this job because they are able to tell the correct hideouts of the criminals though they should have experience and sharpness which is necessary for the required criteria.

Law enforcement jobs have become more complex now as compared to the olden days. In this sort of jobs, the law enforcement officers have many responsibilities upon them. They have to look after their families, children and convince them upon his/ hers busy schedule. These sort of jobs have forced many house wives to divorce their husbands who are law enforcement officers as in this job the man or woman is not able to give or spend time with his/ hers family. Mostly in these law enforcement jobs, people can be disturbed anytime. And when anyone is disturbed in the middle of night, he or she is not able to take complete rest.

 Law enforcement officers have an increase in weight because it is a fact that people, who do not take complete rest, look fat and have an increase in their weight. Science has also proved that many of Law Enforcement officers die soon after their retirements or suspension from the job because during the job they are unable to take complete rest, a balanced diet and so on, and die very soon.

The Law Enforcement jobs have made many of its officer’s lives miserable, as when they are unable to take complete rest, and daily face domestic violence without taking balanced diets, they face many tangling issues together, which results in mental distress. There is a solution of this problem, that Law enforcement agencies should decide proper timings for their employees so that they can manage their schedules accordingly.

Many people have a common belief about the police jobs that police jobs are a way to reduce the population of the world, in other means it can be clarified as many of the police officers commit suicide because they are continuously facing mental distress, from the direction of their jobs and from their homes.

Many of them commit suicide because the amount paid to the police officers is not sufficient for their families and due to that they are unable to fulfill the demands of their children, wives or their things of daily use. In that when a Law Enforcement officer faces distress from the side of its family, friends and from its job, there is nothing left for him except the decision to commit suicide. This refers to the most common incidents faced by the police or law enforcement officers in their employment.

The topic refers to the psychological importance of the law enforcement officers. The psychological importance is sufficient and necessary in this field. It points out towards the negative aspect of this law enforcement job. The psychological fitness can result in both positive and negative aspects. The negative aspects of psychological fitness of law enforcement officer’s results in the beating and injuring sometimes even killing of the criminals, or those innocent people who suffer in lock-ups without any reason.

This is injustice and an unlawful act. Nowadays, the people or officers, who are rendered to protect the law, are breaking the rules and treating criminals and innocent people like slaves. In this regard psychological fitness is very important because a normal person cannot beat up another human without any reason so severely. The criminals or innocent people are beaten up with belts and sticks in the jail lock-ups. For this, it is necessary to be abnormal or psychologically fit in negative way, because a normal man or psychologically fit man in positive way cannot beat up another human for the sake of humanity.

For these sorts of acts and terror, many law enforcement agencies in the world heir abnormal or psychologically ill people, so that they can control the criminals in their own way. People which are mentally or psychologically fit use their law enforcement designation for the betterment of people. A law enforcement officer who has a positive aspect of his/her employment reacts truthfully and nicely towards the people and society.

The law enforcement agencies take examinations of the candidates who are eager to become a law enforcement officer. In this examination they take the voice, eyesight, hearing test and many other specific tests in which they decide whether to include the person in their team or reject him or her.

The examiners of this test also see whether the man or woman candidate fulfills the required criteria or not. For this purpose, they judge candidates in many ways like whether the candidate is psychologically ill, is he able to manage the weapon or designation given to him. Is he eager to take revenge from the society or is he an inferiority complexion patient.

They test the candidates in different ways like testing them after giving the weapons that how they use them. Is the candidate using the job for the means of taking some sort of social revenge or is he just doing the law enforcement job truly in a way to help the needy and poor people of his society. If the candidate is an evil minded person and during the examination, if the examiners succeed in knowing his evil minded activities and wrong intentions then the person is declined for the job. In order to apply for the post it is necessary to be healthy both mentally and physically and psychologically fit.

Police officers or Law Enforcement officers also commit suicide because of the daily domestic violence, which they face after returning home from the daylong jobs. When a person is depressed he or she thinks that by committing suicide, he or she will resolve all the rising miseries in his or hers life but it is necessary that why only commit suicide? There are several other ways through which we could succeed in resolving the domestic violence of our lives.

The Law Enforcement agencies require people who are able to tackle most of the complicated problems of the society. For this purpose, they require psychologically fit and relaxed people. In recent years, many studies regarding the suicide of most of the law enforcement officers have made these agencies to answer the situations. What is the reason behind committing suicide? Why do many of the Law Enforcement Officers commit suicide? The answer to all these questions is not as simple as we think.

The most common reason behind their suicide is everyday domestic violence. When a person does this kind of job in which anytime there could be an emergency then it creates panic for the family members to understand and tolerate this kind of disturbance among the family plans.

Most families tolerate this kind of interference for long, but many of them do not tolerate it and take strict actions through their conversation or the use of words. Many of the police officers become habitual of facing this sort of domestic violence daily and ignore the members as a dog is barking. But some of them, who do not have much stamina to bear the day-to-day conflicts in their homes, have quarrels between their families. They either commit suicide or leave their home. Many of them divorce their wives or send them to their parent’s house.

These scenes became more common in every Law Enforcement Officer’s home when sudden and rapid changes came during the 21st century in these jobs. The rapidly changing environment of the fast, quick and innovative century increases crimes and injustice when it dawned, and now the crime rate has so increased that the Law Enforcement officers are also involved in crimes nowadays.

When the 21st century dawned, the crime rate was not so high but increases as compared to other eras. When the crime rate gradually increased the more distress and more panic it added to the miserable lives of the law enforcement officers. Due to a gradual change in the society, it took time for the law enforcement officers to adjust with the rising crimes but they still devoted their time and energies to their employments.

It took the families to adjust their minds with the helping hands of the family, but soon when it got deplorable for them to compromise then they started to create panic for firstly miserable man. They complained everyday and it resulted in a great violence some day. This added more miseries to the life of a law enforcement officer, and when the ratio grew more and more, they did nothing except killing themselves. Nowadays many of the law enforcement officers, who are upset and miserable of their jobs and income, do nothing except finding illegal ways to earn more and more money.

People have find new ways to tease the forth coming law enforcement officers as the police or some others who are controllers of law are considered as bribe takers. They take bribes to fulfill the needs of their families, as they do not receive sufficient amount of their employment or salaries.

Researchers in the Law Enforcement Department are trying to recover their officers from the miseries, which they face during their jobs.

They are trying to save as many lives as they can because officers are the sole responsibility of the agency and if they commit something illegal, the agency is questioned. The law enforcement agencies however have been in the depth of their thinking, when studies told people that about 3 percent and now 4 percent of the humans (law enforcement officer) have killed themselves just because their job was a load on them. Media however wonders that why the law enforcement agencies burden their employees or agents so much that they have nothing more to do except committing suicide. Is this law?

The people who stop other people for breaking the rules and law of the country are by themselves breaking the rules by committing suicide. Suicide is an illegal practice; however, in a little ratio of the world strict actions are taken on suicides and behind its motive. W. Bratton in a quotation of him said referring to the Law Enforcement Officers that “We do not want to lose you”.  (Thomas and Jane, 1996)

In the following quotation Gladstone has clarified one thing that the human remains many times cause miseries for the police officers that find things during investigation. In psychological response to the criminals nearly all of the policemen or Law enforcement officers have a negative response.

Gladstone said that, “Show me the manner in which a nation or community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals.” - Gladstone.

“Most police officers consider human remains handling and death scene investigation routine. These tasks are laden with emotional significance and are often accompanied by sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch sensations of the most unpleasant kind. Both young and older officers are vulnerable to the emotional and sensory aspects of body handling and death scene investigation. Young police officers often have little life experience.

Older officers may have been traumatized by military combat. Officers of any age may struggle with issues of depression, suicidal ideation, anger, aggression, separation issues, relationship problems, or childhood physical or sexual abuse. Officers with much life and street experience are much more resistant to the psycho sensory effects of body handling and death investigation, but even they are not immune to them.

Most police officers eventually develop tolerance for “routine” death on the street, and most death events would barely rate on their “Richter scale” of emotion. During years on the street, they develop mature coping strategies and responses, which allow them to shrug off all but the most vivid of death scene and dead body experiences. Some death events, however, by virtue of their magnitude, horror, bizarreness, or pathos, leave indelible impressions upon the psyche of even the most experienced and mature police officer.

He may show no outward emotional response, develop transient responses to those events, or experience long-term psychological sequel, with significant impairment and disability.” (Greene, 2001-2)

Through the following matter of a website it has been cleared that most of the police officers get seriously infected or ill because of investigating death scenes or examining the dead bodies. However, in this regard, sometimes it is a difficult task to bear the dead bodies in front of our eyes. As being a human, it is unbearable for any of us, seeing someone especially a human in front of our eyes. People get scared if they see a dead animal in front of their eyes, and the police witness the dead bodies, dead humans.

It is therefore, recommended for the police department or for the Law Enforcement Agencies to take or appoint/ hire people who are mentally strong and psychologically fit, but somewhere even for a psychologically or mentally both fit person could not even try to look at the dead bodies or human remains as it gives a terrific look and that become in tolerable and unbearable.

In Law enforcement agencies, the most common thing faced by the policemen is neglecting attitude of the people. On-duty, they face many people which do not recognize police as a part of this society and even sometimes they meet people that do not recognize them as humans. It is true that the image of police officers in the vision of people is very bad and they are considered as bribe takers.

The fact is however true, but not all the police officers are corrupt, majority is wrong but we should not forget that minority of the police officers are honest and dedicated to their profession. When honest police officers face this kind of neglect from the society, they sometimes become rash or even try to kill themselves. When these cops are continuously neglected by the society, they get into deep thinking and depression, some times they do not even know that who is passing by them or they do not response to the outside influences i.e. stimuli. These are some of the symptoms of neglected and depressed policemen. (Greene, 2001-2)

These policemen however, to lighten their minds commit heinous crimes such as killing the other partner in encounters, killing the family members or the most common acts of sexual abuse of children or killing himself or herself. This is called traumatic diseases and if a police officer or cop gets into the jaws of this kind of traumatic disease, then he does something wrong or illegal.

While the most horrific, terrible and tragic of these incidents is suicide. It is a questioning conflicting matter for the police department that why an officer commits suicide. According to surveys In New York City, the death toll of police officers that have committed suicide is double of the general population, and annually in the world approximately three hundred or more police officers commit suicide after observing such tragic incidents.

The stress which mostly police officers face daily is something very common, but whenever they get assignments to investigate murderers or serial killing cases, they face terrible scenes during those investigations and meet face to face to their deaths. This also results in traumatic or posttraumatic attacks.

In that the law enforcement or police officers result in physically and mentally torturing of their fellow officers, children and mostly themselves. They cut their nerves with blades and even sometimes kill themselves with sharp knives. They do this because they get tensed of flashbacks of those scenes of dead bodies, which they witness, sometimes often and sometimes daily. They are supposed to do these acts to take relief from the tensed and disturbing life of them.

There is another reason of traumatic attacks to the policemen. When they investigate criminal cases, they receive threats on phone calls that also add to mental miseries. Sometimes, they receive letters at their workplaces or homes. But whenever a courageous or brave officer shows ignorance towards this kind of menace, then these criminals try to torture the family members of the investigator.

In that, investigators who get worried or tensed after receiving such threatening calls and messages often leave the cases or kill themselves. Many of them leave their jobs and their domicile to escape from the eyes of the criminals. It is a proven fact that leaving the general population behind, every year about 75 percent of police officers consults more to the doctors or clinicians than the general population. (Greene, 2001-2)

In posttraumatic experiences or conditions most of the police officers become sympathetic with the criminals and lave them almost free to escape from the lock-ups or jails. In that they are questioned by the police headquarters very severely that why do they did it. They have no answer to those questions, and they become more tensed and miserable when the questioning members of the Police Head Quarters pressurize them. To escape more questions and investigation, they kill themselves when they are under high security jails.

To recover policemen from these sort of traumatic diseases and mental attacks, it is necessary for the police department to hire clinicians but it is recommended that the clinicians must belong to the police department so that they would succeed in understanding the psyche of the depressed policeman. The clinicians, who examine depressed officers or policemen, are strictly committed for providing them mental relief so that they could be able to answer all the examiner’s questions with relief and relaxation. Their aim is to highlight the prospectus of mental distress, and taking out the dedicated and responsible officers out of these traumatic attacks.

Conclusion

The above article refers to the jobs of Law Enforcement Officers. In this article the problems and miseries faced by the Law enforcement officers have been summarized including web references. At last, one thing can be concluded in the article that committing suicides will not help, it is necessary to be broad minded and tolerate things in the jobs like Law Enforcement officers.

The families of these people should understand that duty is duty and it can recall the employee at any time. There is no specific timings of media jobs and investigative or law enforcement jobs. Through the co-operation obtainable from both sides the conflicting and rising problem of police officers suicide can be reduced. If many families of these officers could compromise a little then from the start till now imagine how many lives could have been saved, but when a person is mentally ill, or disturbed he only finds one dangerous way of relief called SUICIDE.

References

Claudia L. Greene, M.D., Human remains and psychological impact on police officers: Excerpts from psychiatric observations. The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies; Volume: 2001-2 [Online] http://www.massey.ac.nz/~trauma/issues/2001-2/greene.htm Accessed March 4, 2007 Laurence Miller. The Psychological Fitness-for-Duty Examination: What every police officer should know. (June 12, 2006) [Online]

http://www.policeone.com/writers/columnists/LaurenceMiller/articles/134760/ Accessed March 4, 2007

Physical Fitness in Law Enforcement. U.S. Department Of Justice.  Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Academy Library, Quantico, Virginia 22135 (January, 2005) [Online]

http://fbilibrary.fbiacademy.edu/bibliographies/physcialfitnessinlawenforcement.htm Accessed March 4, 2007

Thomas E. Baker, M.S. and Jane P. Baker, M.S.; Preventing Police Suicide. October 1996 [Online] http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/1996/oct966.txt Accessed March 4, 2007