Preventing Office Fatigue

Law enforcement officers usually do not speak up about how stress affects their lives. Most departments have an unspoken code of silence about the stress and strain that comes with police work. For most officers, the work ethic and culture of law enforcement appears to accept fatigue as part of the job.

Additionally, managers do not always see how overtime causes work-related injuries and accidents. And many police officers are willing to risk their health because overtime provides additional income.

Some police agencies are trying to avoid officer fatigue by:

  • Encouraging officers to engage in physical activity.
  • Encouraging officers to take time away from work.
  • Avoiding mandatory overtime hours.
  • Discouraging officers from taking on second jobs or moonlighting.
  • Creating schedules and policies that minimize overtime and shift rotation.
  • Using technology or policies that reduce overtime. These technological changes might include:
    • Using laptop devices in cars to write reports.
    • Using a "call in" reporting system to deal with certain calls for service.
    • Allowing officers to process paperwork on calls for service at a later time.
Date Modified: January 24, 2012