Impact of Stress Caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Work and Conduct of Police Officers in Stressful Emergency Situations
This paper elaborates the relationship between stress from the COVID-19 pandemic and the work and conduct of police officers in stressful emergency situations and is directly based on a survey conducted among police officers working in Croatia. Field research was conducted in May and June 2020 during the first pandemic wave on a sample of 988 police officers.
The objectives of this study are to determine the extent to which the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes in police officer work and behavior of police officers, to determine the severity of stress exposure and to assess police officers in relation to the following sources of stress in the police environment: newly created working conditions, working expectations, interpersonal relations, control in work, support from superiors or associates or the general public, work roles, familiarity with changes, mistakes made in work and a certain insecurity in terms of job preservation.
The obtained results suggest that the crisis caused by the pandemic has affected organizational changes in the police force, changed the structure and scope of police tasks and had a significant impact on the professional health of police officers. Moreover, the risk of infection has increased given that police work continues to be carried out in direct contact with citizens, and consequently increased exposure to stress.
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