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Are Police More Angry And Frustrated Than Other Workers?

Roughly One-In-Five Police Frequently Feel Angry And Frustrated On The Job

SWAT team prepared (4132135578)

About one-in-five police officers nationally (21%) say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated – feelings that are linked to more negative views toward the public. These frequently angry, frustrated officers also are more likely than their colleagues to support more physical or aggressive policing methods, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted May 19-Aug. 14, 2016, by the National Police Research Platform of 7,917 sworn police and sheriff’s officers in 54 departments with at least 100 officers.

Frustration is more prevalent than anger among today’s police officers. About half of the officers surveyed (51%) say their work nearly always (10%) or often (41%) makes them feel frustrated, while 22% say they nearly always (3%) or often (19%) feel angry. When these two measures are combined, a total of 21% of officers say they nearly always or often feel angry and frustrated.

The survey finds that officers who frequently feel angry and frustrated by their job are twice as likely as all other police to say officers have reason to distrust most people (46% vs. 23%). They are more likely than their colleagues to agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way (56% vs. 41%) and to say they have become more callous toward people since taking this job (77% vs. 50%). 

Angry and frustrated officers also are more likely to have physically struggled or fought with a suspect in the past month (44% vs. 30%) or to have been verbally abused by a citizen (79% vs. 64%)

It is important to bear in mind that the factors that are associated with being angry and frustrated cannot be said to have caused officers to feel this way. For example, while the study shows that officers who say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated are more likely than their colleagues to agree that “hard, physical” tactics are needed for some people, that does not mean that often being angry and frustrated necessarily causes an officer to support the use of more aggressive methods.

By the same token, it cannot be claimed that favoring more aggressive tactics causes an officer to be more frequently angry and frustrated. There may be other factors common to both an officer’s level of anger and frustration and his or her attitude toward the use of more physical tactics that are the real causes.

Officers who say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated have a markedly more negative view of the public in general than do other officers. These differences are most striking when officers who are frequently angry and frustrated are compared with the plurality of officers at the other end of the emotional spectrum – those who are not frequently angry or frustrated.

View Full Report At : http://pewrsr.ch/2mJRDMm

[Source: Pew Research Center/pewresearch.org-Media Relations]

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