Impact of Homeland Security Alert level on calls to a law enforcement peer support hotline.
ABSTRACT The Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) was established by the Department of Homeland Security to communicate the risk of a terrorist event. In order to explore the potential psychological impacts of HSAS we analyzed the effects of terror alerts on the law enforcement community. We used data from the New Jersey Cop 2 Cop crisis intervention hotline. Incidence Rate Ratios--interpreted as average relative increases in the daily number of calls to the Cop 2 Cop hotline during an increased alert period--were computed from Poisson models. The hotline received a total of 4,145 initial calls during the study period. The mean daily number of calls was higher during alert level elevation compared to prior 7 days (7.68 vs. 8.00). In the Poisson regression analysis, the Incidence Rate Ratios of number of calls received during elevated alert levels compared to the reference period of seven days preceding each change in alert were close to 1, with confidence intervals crossing 1 (i.e. not statistically significant) for all lag periods evaluated. This investigation, in the context of New Jersey law enforcement personnel, does not support the concern that elevating the alert status places undue stress upon alert recipients.
SourceAvailable from: Mark H. Chae
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ABSTRACT: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore risk and protective factors associated with suicidal ideation among law enforcement personnel. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology employed is based on the "Best Evidence Synthesis" approach, whereby researchers systematically examine and integrate the most empirically sound available research on the topic under investigation. Findings - Results of studies showed that the interaction of multiple risk factors had a cumulative effect in increasing the risk for suicidal ideation. In total, five prominent aspects of policing were associated with risk for suicidal ideation: organizational stress; critical incident trauma; shift work; relationship problems; and alcohol use and abuse. Studies also indicated that protective factors and preventative measures had stress-buffering effects which decreased the impact of police stressors. Research limitations/implications - The model is limited because few studies have employed methodologically-sound research designs to test risk and protective factors related to police suicide. This conceptual overview may facilitate theory development and provide directions for future research. Practical implications - Law enforcement agencies which implement programs that assist police personnel in developing active coping styles, identify and access available social support systems, as well as utilize community-based services may decrease risk for suicidal ideation. This review provides practical applications for law enforcement training, education, and program development. Originality/value - The paper represents the most recent review of risk and protective factors related to suicidal ideation among police personnel. This integration of research provides police practitioners with an evidence-based ecological framework that can be applied universally in police management settings.Policing An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management 03/2013; 36(1):91-118. DOI:10.1108/13639511311302498 · 0.55 Impact Factor