Command and Staff Program

ACE Track

Human Factors and Leadership

Replies
205
Voices
105
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
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    Kyle Turner

    Departments in my area (Southern California) have come a long way in the past 20 years in addressing the effects of calls for service on an officer's mental health. This has also had a significant impact on stress and fatigue. However, one are where I feel departments continue to fall short is the amount of sleep officers are able to get based on their work schedule. With court appearances (especially when working night shifts), staffing shortages requiring officers to hold over on their shifts, calls for service and arrests requiring reports to be completed, and 12.5+ hour routine work schedules, there is a distinct lack of awareness and/or intentional ignoring of the impact this has on an officer's ability to function, especially in high stress situations. I feel that more effort needs to be made to ensure officers at least have the opportunity to sleep so they can be focused, productive and safe under pressure during their shifts.

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      Monte Potier

      I agree with you Kyle. The agencies leaders should have more awareness on what they are doing to their employees by not allowing them the time to "unwind" and rest. Unfortunately most supervisors are uncaring unless it is them who is forced to work to exhaustion.

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        Jarvis Mayfield

        I agree if an employee is rested and their minds have time to wind the level of work with be at a great scale then if their are tired

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      Chris Corbin

      We recently changed our patrol shifts from a mixed 4/10 and 3/12 schedule to 10-hour shifts across the board. It was a heavy lift with 18 months of assessment, evaluation, and discussions with our associations before the change was made. Employee wellness was one of the biggest factors that contributed to the final decision. As could be expected, not everyone was happy with the change. We took that unhappiness to heart and are once again making some changes to our schedule, although the 10-hour shift across the board will remain, largely because of our concern for officer health and wellness.

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      Frank Acuna

      Kyle,

      I agree that the demands of the job can sometimes cause an overwhelming amount of fatigue. While I supervise the weekend shifts, we are often needing overtime positions which can typically go unfilled. This requires an officer from the previous shift to hold over from anywhere between 3 and 5 hours beyond their normal 10-hour shift. This can take a toll on them both mentally and physically.

      Frank

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      Nancy Franklin

      Kyle, I agree that police agencies in Southern California have made great progress for ensuring officer health and wellness, with a focus on mental health. Our agency moved away from the 3/12 schedule to reduce fatigue as one of the reasons. Staffing shortages cause officers to have to work long shifts and even cover shifts on what would have been their day off. For these reasons, it is important for officers to maintain a good physical fitness regiment, as well as practices that assist in mitigating stress such as meditation and self-development.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      Hello Kyle. You made a great point. In my opinion, Law enforcement leaders (command and executive staff) must be involved in the process of creating Officer wellness programs. Unfortunately, not may agencies have peer support groups or have wellness programs to assist officers after a critical incident or when dealing with cumulative stress. You mentioned about sleep deprivation being a contributing factor for stress. I agree 100% with you. Shift work, court appearances and mandated overtime are killing our officers, making it very hard for them to get quality sleep. I truly believe as dealers we can assist our people by providing them with support and resources for mental and physical wellness.

    • Edit

      The topic of sleep has been highly discussed in our agency lately. Unfortunately a lot of our administration have forgot what it's like to work night shift, all weekends, holidays, get called in for overtime, court, etc. The night shift staff seem to be put in the situation most for not getting many hours of sleep and a lot of people that don't have to suffer from it respond with "at least your young" A lot of time the night shift staff are less experienced and are younger, but that will eventually wear on them. That causes faster burnout and more stress. People forget how important sleep is and it can have significant impacts on your overall health.

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    Monte Potier

    It should be the agencies overall goal for officer safety, to include the officers mental and physical state prior to their interaction with the public. Education on the effects of stress and fatigue should be mandatory for all new officers prior to allowing them to work secondary jobs. If this is done it may prevent officers from working to the point of exhaustion.

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    Chris Corbin

    Last year, our Department made a move to 10-hour shifts across the board for our patrol officers. Our command's concern about officer safety and health/wellness played a significant role in this decision. Unfortunately, our dispatch unit continues on a 3/12 schedule. This is largely due to the fact that our dispatch unit is currently short-staffed, and because for many years, City and Department resources were directed elsewhere. Fortunately, in our current years' budget, one new full-time dispatcher position was allocated, and once we are able to fill our current vacancies, various options for 10-hour shifts will begin to make themselves available. However, even with those options coming into play, some of our dispatch personnel continue to be largely limited to graveyard shifts, which over time has been shown to have a significant impact on health and wellness. We clearly still have some work to do.

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      Joey Prevost

      I remember at the beginning of my career you had day and night 12 hour shifts. You rotated every two weeks. It was impossible to get an acclimated schedule down as just when you got used to one, you switched. Several years later my agency switched to fixed 12 hour shifts for patrol. It seems to be much more conducive to employee health.

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        ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

        I agree a fixed shift is much better. After spending nearly 8 years on night shift, I never acclimated to the hours and sleep schedule. I was exhausted all the time.

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    Frank Acuna

    This lesson discussed the three human factors that impact officer safety and wellness. The first is physical conditioning which refers to physical and mental fitness, the second is mental fatigue and the third is the effects of stress. Physical conditioning is something each individual officer must take responsibility for. The agency must encourage physical fitness and leaders should model it. Mental fitness is also something officers should take accountability for, the first step of which is not being afraid to discuss when outside issues or job-related incidents are effecting your performance. Each individual agency must also make the officer feel safe bringing this information forward as typically there is a stigma associated with the impact caused by job-related incidents and mental health.

    Fatigue caused by being overworked can be self-imposed or caused by staffing issues and the need for overtime. The effects of stress must be managed and can impact the officer's overall health and wellbeing. We cannot change the stress caused by the job, but we can take preventative measures to minimize the impact stress has on our bodies and in our lives.

    Lastly, agencies must take responsibility for being their own media source, pushing information out to the public to show the humanity of its officers. They should be as effective at using social media as media sources. They can push out positive information and debrief critical incidents, reminding the public of the human factors involved in the incidents.

    Frank

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      Brian Johnson

      Frank, I am going to focus on your last comment about media. I agree with you that agencies have a responsibility to keep the public/media informed. The use of social media and the internet has made if very simple, effective, and affordable to communicate with our stakeholders. Brian

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    Brian Johnson

    The law enforcement profession has done itself and our employees a big disservice by going to the 3/12 work schedule. When you factor in travel time to and from work, possible overtime, the workday can easily become 15-18 hours. We know that the human body requires 8 hours of sleep daily, but this happening for most of our officers working the 3/12. The fatigue factor for the majority of patrol officers (at least in S. Cal) is really not safe nor healthy for our officers or dispatchers. Unfortunately, we have focused on the present "want" from our employees without really accepting the long-term consequences of work the 3/12 work schedule. I know the majority of chiefs and command staff would prefer to use the 4/10 schedule because it's truly safer and healthier for our employees, Recognizing this is a meet and confer issue with our bargaining units, I do not have much hope that this change in the near future for any agency.

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      Dan Wolff

      Brian Johnson,
      Our agency had to move from the normal 8 hour shifts due to morale and manning. We looked at the option of 3/12, 4/10 and 12-hour pitman schedule (which our jail operations are on). We chose to due the same as the jail operations since our new deputies coming out of the jail and to patrol were accustomed to this schedule. We have modified this schedule by adding a “power shift” to accommodate shift change over for days and evening shift call volume. Given the 12-hour shift our concern is the same of the factors of stress and fatigue. We are only 5 months into this new schedule and are monitoring it closely.

      Dan

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        mtroscla@tulane.edu

        A few years a go we tried to switch from 12 to 8 hour shift models, we ended up losing a little over 10% of our officers before they switched back to 12, I think 10 hour shifts might be a good middle ground but the last change went so poorly I doubt any other model will ever be given a try.

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      Jarod Primicerio

      Completely agree Brian. It appears that we have laid down in submission to the desires of the officers and the unions, rather than focusing on the optimal service to the public. This is a constant battle within our Department and we continuously bow to what is best for the officer and their life, commute, traffic, secondary employment, vacations, etc. Bad situation we have adopted.

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        Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        I disagree with you Jarod on the comment you made about what is best for the officer and their life is a bad situation that your department bowed down. How is "what is best for the officer" a bad thing? I am also curious what position you hold within your department to make you have this opinion.

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      Drauzin Kinler

      I agree with you Brian. There is lots of research that has been done on this topic which confirms what you stated. In the long run those who work these shifts will pay the price. I have been working an 8-hour day shift job for the last 5 years and I still suffer from insomnia as a result of the 25 years of shift work. Your body doesn't recover from the effects.

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    Dan Wolff

    When reviewing this module, it made me think of the situation we just went through in our agency. Like everyone else, within the past 5 months the patrol unit moved to a 12-hour Pitman work schedule to match our jail operations. 4 teams consisting of A, B, C, and D shift working around the clock with 6-6 hours. There is no rotation built in for patrol from nights to days, vice-versa, on patrol like the jail does every 4 months. We also added a “power shift” which is 2pm-2am to cover shift changeover calls for dayshift. However, there is no relief for nights when we get those calls at 0500 and by the time dayshift comes out, we are knee deep and it would not be beneficial to pass this on. This schedule was fine when I worked in the jail under climate-controlled building conditions. But on patrol, stress and fatigue were the main concerns in moving to this shift given the constant changing environment (either physical or mental). As the night shift Lieutenant, I constantly check on the deputies for any signs of stress or fatigue they may be experiencing. The morale for these shifts is still positive since they get every other weekend off (3 day) but these human factors still have us concerned.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    This module is exactly what is necessary for law enforcement agencies to focus on. I definitively believe it is lacking in my department overall. There is minimal discussion and policy has loosely been integrated, but there is so much overtime available that it has become the priority and purpose for some officers. I truly don't know how they are functioning as there is no downtime between patrol, court and overtime. It seems when this topic is brought up, as long as the officer is within the required hours of overtime daily, there is no further push to examine fatigue, health and wellness, officer safety components, etc. A brief discussion to compare officer stats from those who work and don't work overtime may illuminate the diminished service provided to the public.

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      Magda Fernandez

      Jarod, I agree with your post especially on the overtime issue. Staffing issues plaque our agency. We just can’t seem hire fast enough. Once hired, the ones that make it take about a year to be solo officers in the field. There is a lot of overtime and it is hard to fill. Officers come in early and at times hold over to cover those billets. Some have court and other obligations they have to meet after their assigned shifts, and it makes it for long hours, days and work weeks. We have a fairly young department so fortunately there is hardly ever a shortage of volunteers. I just worry about them and their ability to sustain this tempo of work and the effects this has in the service to the community.

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    Joey Prevost

    The human factors of mental and physical well being are paramount in this line of work. The instructor for this course is correct, if any of us knew we would be in a fight for our life in 6 months. We would spend every minute from now till then preparing for it. We don't take care of ourselves while we are in this career and as a consequence many don't make it much past retirement.

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      Jason Porter

      Well said. The number of people that have retired from here and are no longer with us is ridiculous. I can only imagine that mental and especially physical well being contributed to their passing.

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    Jason Porter

    This module hit on something that I have long been an advocate for. Fitness in our line of work is necessary. Not only does it give you a positive feeling about yourself, it can also aid you in your job. Being fit or in better shape than you were the day before can help with stress, fatigue and even your personal life. I have always wanted a program at work that would reward physical fitness with something to encourage others to get in shape. Sometimes a little outside incentive is all one needs to begin a lifestyle of good physical condition.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    I spent 25 years of my law enforcement career working 12-hour rotating shifts in the patrol division. The constant switching back and forth from days to nights is a police officer's worst nightmare. The shift work is appealing to the younger personnel, but after several years it begins to take a toll on your body. Agencies should focus more attention on the effects that shift work has on employees. Shift work should consist of either permanent day or night shifts or on scheduled increments such as a month of days and then a month of nights. This would allow for the officer's body and internal clock to adjust. The health effects resulting from the shift work is not conducive to providing the mental and physical conditions that are required of officers.

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      Lance Landry

      Drauzin I spent 25 years working straight night shifts. Knowing the struggle it was to live the “vampire” life; I could only imagine how difficult it was swapping back and forth. Absolutely, no way I would have made it that long swapping from days to nights. Your last sentence is spot on.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      Kinler I agree with you. After 20 years of service, I've worked shift work for many years and it can have an overwhelming effect on the body. However, we often don't see the impacts on our bodies until it's too late. Many law enforcement officers don't have the option to enjoy or even make it to see retirement.

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    Mike Brown

    Drauzin, I like you spent 28 years of my career working 12 hour shifts in the patrol division. A lot of the hours I spent walking certain neighborhoods especially at night. I wanted to be the person who caught a criminal in the act of breaking into a home or robbing a bank. Later in life, my body started telling me things that I did not know how to read. Now looking back I see the signs I should have seen back then

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, Mike. You don't always see the signs of fatigue and stress that is caused by long working hours.

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    Nancy Franklin

    The concepts covered in this lesson regarding the human factors and their effect on officer resiliency are key to ensuring that officers make it through a 20+ year career with their health and wellness intact. Educating officers on the effect of these human factors and the need to take countermeasures to reduce their impact is important. The three human factors identified as having the greatest level of influence are: physical conditioning, the effects of stress, and the effects of fatigue. The demanding physicality of this profession requires officers to be physically fit to increase performance and survivability. Fatigue is common among officers due to the nature of our work. Long hours and the physical effects of stress on our bodies make us vulnerable to fatigue. Stress is perhaps one of the biggest concerns for officer health and wellness. If officers don't have strategies and resources in place to assist in managing stress and the effects it has on our body and our lives, it can manifest in chronic illness, family issues, and our own mental health.

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    Lance Leblanc

    The demands of this job can take a toll on your physical and mental health. As police, we all had to work special events and long hours. I remember as a young detective in the 90"s working 30 hours straight for a homicide. In those days, if there were leads you didn't go home until the suspect was in custody or all leads had been exhausted. Today my agency does a better job of managing the hours that an employee can work.

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    Lance Leblanc

    My agency after Katrina required every patrol officer to work on their days of for 4 months straight. The fatigue and lesson learn from that situation will not be repeated by my agency again, at least I hope not. My agency still drafts officers on their days for special events but it's nowhere to the level that it was for Katrina.

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    Magda Fernandez

    I appreciate the information presented in this module. Fatigue and stress unfortunately are some factors that dominate my agency. Our officers work 4/10s but then follow up with a lot of overtime, training, court and participate in community and special events. Due to staffing issues, sometimes our officers end up working 16 hours. It is a constant checking in with them and at times sending them home. Unfortunately, none of our officers live close. Most have a minimum of a 30 to 45-minute drive. Fortunately, we have been able to provide officers with a “quiet room” where they can get some rest prior to driving home or if they have down time between their shift and court time. In addition, we have contracted mental health specialists to help officers deal with stress resulting from many of the critical incidents they respond to.
    An increase of stress that I have seen in officers is due to social media. It seems everyone is taking video and posting it on twitter. Some members of the public post horrible comments against the officer regardless of what the officer is doing. Some comments appear to be very personal and hateful and hard for them to ignore. Especially for the younger newer officers.

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    David Cupit

    This is some very information in this module. I,m fortunate to work for an agency that encourages us to train everyday, and allows us to hit the gym while on duty. Our officers work 9 hour shifts and like everyone else we work a lot of overtime, so physical fitness is encouraged. The stress is not as bad here as it is in some places and if i see my officers looking fatigued I send them home to rest but the majority of the time we practice making sure they do not get fatigued.

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    Brian Lewis

    This is a module I can relate to. At my agency, we are lucky to have an hour long workout period integrated into our shift. Officer's first hour of their day is spent in the gym. We also give them the option to run or bicycle outside, or go to the city pool to swim. We also have mandatory physical assessments every year which consists of a physical agility test and blood panel. This information is documented and tracked over the officer's time here at the agency. I know of at least two officers that had concerning heart issues discovered during the physical assessment that most likely saved their lives.

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      Clint Patterson

      I agree with you, Brian. I know that our career choice has many affect on our health. Our agency doesn’t have a mandatory physical assessment, and we should. I know several highly ranked officers who could never successfully pass a physical evaluation, but by implementing a program, it could save lives.

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      Laurie Mecum

      We have implemented a physical assessment course for new hires and anyone entering the academy. We provide a free gym for all employees. We can't force people to use it but we offer it. We have looked into making current employees do the course as well.....thats still in the works.....

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    Chasity Arwood

    Mental and physical fatigue can have many negative consequences for officers. My department now has policies in place to regulate the amount of house an officer can work. This forces officers to have much needed down time.

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      Judith Estorge

      It is unfortunate that our agency had to input restrictions on officers working hours due to a few officers making poor decisions. I recognize though without such restrictions it is human nature to push the envelope putting officers and the community they serve at risk. The stress levels of poor decision making intensify as we grow tired and weary.

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        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I totally understand what you are implementing, but I've seen some agency allow their workers to work so many hours not caring how it impacts them mentally and physically. I've seen where that agency didn't care as long as the job was completed. I can say I was a victim of that society from a past agency. I can honestly say it impacts everything the instructor described.

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    Judith Estorge

    This module hit home with me as being able to relate to fatigue in law enforcement. On days I work a second job I've found my tired and lacking the focus I should have. It is a good reminder to keep my work out regiment active and having other means of stress relief. Also, finding stress relief through reading, meditation and spiritual focus.

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    Clint Patterson

    The human factors of law enforcement officers are vital to our survival, especially physical fitness. I know that my physical fitness is not nearly what it used to be nor likely ever to be again. However, Ms. Harrington used an excellent example that resonated with me. She said if an officer knew in six months that he would be in a fight for his life, he would start training now for that fight. This is the mindset that all law enforcement officers and agencies should keep and conform too. I’d like to see an incentive program launched within our agency to promote a healthier lifestyle and weight loss.

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      David Ehrmann

      I don’t think an incentive program would work for our agency. We have tried that in the past. Furthermore, we have the Rally thing that people can get $20 a month just for checking into the gym. I wonder how many people use it. What I think would work are group classes, such as group circuit training. I also think allowing a few hours a week during working hours to exercise would help. We do in-service training for defensive tactics, first aid, etc…why not continuing training for physical wellness?

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      Roanne Sampson

      Clint, I agree. I recently started a 30 minute routine since the COVID19 epidemic. I hope to stick with it to healthy.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you, Clint. I think we all need to practice more physical fitness. I'm not nearly where I was years ago, but I am trying to work on being a better me. Also, I think it is great that our agency provides us with a gym and workout area to help us get into better shape.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Our agency has recently implemented a physical standard for new hires and for current employees entering our academy. It is a course they have to run of simulated obstacles they have on the street. We also have an on- site gym for all employees and spouses can use free of charge. While we are making some efforts, it is still up to the individual to do their part as well. Health care costs rise every year because of unhealthy people. Shift work is also discussed here too, that is something our agency needs to look at as well. Our employees have asked to change it and because some don’t want it changed, then everyone suffers. They need to do what is best for the majority.

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      Amanda Pertuis

      We tried changing our shifts and the majority did not like it. We've tried 8 hour shifts and straight days/nights for a month.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    I agree with the areas in need of more development given in this module. I know many people who lack situational awareness and it is scary. Developing effective communications in high-stake situations can make or break someone cooperating with you. I like the saying - positive thoughts lead to positive action.

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    David Ehrmann

    The topics discussed in this module are things that I have been preaching for years. I am a huge proponent of physical fitness and wellness. Our agency has an onsite gym outfitted with equipment for everyone from the physically fit 22-year-old officer to the "seasoned" clerical worker. The main problem I see is motivation. It all has to start with the person. I have seen our agency offer incentive programs and whatnot, but it still has to start with the individual. Furthermore, standards set for new hires, and the academy need to be extended throughout the time the person is with the agency. Not just end after they're hired.

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      Christian Johnson

      Not that I am the one to talk, but I agree wholeheartedly with the physical fitness standard continuing after hiring and the Academy. The culture has to change at some point and that is a built-in time to exact the change for the amazing long-term benefits.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Human factors is how the brain and body function together. Physical conditioning in this job is very important and should be practiced on a daily basis. I could use a daily routine. Stress can lead to a lot of different things, such as irritability, memory loss, impaired immune system and even heart disease. Also, all agencies should adopt a safety culture.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      This is so true, I could also use a routine. unfortunately for some people it is hard to juggle work, details and home time.

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      Donnie

      The best way to reduce stress is to get physical. A decent diet and regular exercise certainly reduces stress. Doing your best to have a sensible sleep plan reduces fatigue as well. What it really takes in intestinal fortitude to do it though.

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    Christian Johnson

    Stress and fatigue can absolutely effect performance. I have seen it.

    It is beyond important for all of us in law enforcement to have an outlet for stress and stick to a routine for sleep and rest.

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      Royce Starring

      I agree that stress and Fatigue effect and officers performance. if not properly addressed it can lead to other heath issues as well.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    Physical and mental fitness is very important in law enforcement. Do to family and financial demands sometimes people get overwhelmed and overlook their health until it is too late. This can lead to stress, memory loss, and a lower immune system. The agency I work for has taken the steps to help increase physical fitness by opening a gym in our training center. This is a step in the right direction.

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      McKinney

      With the varying factors that we are surrounded by, it is easy to overlook our health. My agency recognizes these concerns, where we have incorporated policies and practices to help our organizational members achieve a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

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    Royce Starring

    Human factors with the greatest influence is very interesting. it discussed physical condition, fatigue, and stress. I agree with the physical condition and how it is important to mental physical health. i also found how fatigue and stress play apart in work performance .

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    Lance Landry

    I am a proponent of physical fitness. It is the very reason I survived working many years of night shift work. The agency I work for implemented a physical fitness assessment program back in the early 2000’s. Every enforcement officer in the department is required to participate in bi-annual assessments adopted from “Cooper Standards.” We do not receive any type of supplemental pay for fitness, but our employer does pay for a gym membership at the facility of your choice.

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    Donnie

    At our agency uniform patrol still works a 12 hour shift and rotation. While I don’t work it anymore I have often said a 10 hour shift would be much better. The night shift usually suffers the most from this often staying over for court or some kind of training. In our office every deputy assigned a weapon must take a physical fitness test twice a year. We had adopted the Cooper Institute standard but have since modified it into something more suitable. We also offer remedial physical fitness training (not mandatory) but that requires intestinal fortitude and great motivation. I’m a believer in physical exercise and that it helps your mental state. A steady diet aids in that too.

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    Burke

    Physical fitness plays a strong role in my agency. We provide two different gyms on our grounds along with allowing the deputies to utilize their work vehicles to go to any gym. It plays such an important role in the physical and mental well-being of an officer.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I think that an agency gym is a great idea. My agency currently allows officers to use their department vehicles to go the gym. One thing we also tried was a program designed around cross-fit, where the agency pays for the membership to a cross-fit gym. If my agency were to offer its own gym. I think it would pay dividends in the end and most officers would use the gym on a regular basis.

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    McKinney

    Secondary employment as mentioned in the video lecture needs to be monitored closely to prevent hazardous effects to all aspects of safety. I think that if an agency allows it’s member to participate in secondary employment that it is imperative that a policy regulates several factors which include the amount of hours that can be worked after a shift or before they return back to service.

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      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I agree with secondary employment. We have some details that pay more than the officer's hourly rate, and when there is no overtime, some officers try to work as many of these details as possible. Adding that time up with shift hours eventually catches up to the officer, so it must be monitored to eliminate the fatigue.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      My department does have a policy in place for the amount of hours a deputy can work consecutively in a 24 hour period to keep from being fatigued. This is a must for any agency . If not some deputies would work around the clock.

    • Edit

      I agree, I think that if an agency will approve secondary employment it should be closely monitored. It doesn't make sense to have a limit on the hours that an employee can work on primary job if it is unknow how many hours they are working on secondary job. I can see where fatigue can easily be a concern.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      At our agency, we have a 16 hour rule which means that we can only work 16 hours in a 24 hour day. If an officer works a standard 12 hour shift then he/she can only work 4 hours on a detail either before or after a shift.

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      Agreed, the current environment that encompasses our pay scale as base "deputies" on up to executive personnel is not proportionate to the level of work we perform. Officers usually have to work "details" or secondary jobs to make ends meet. We enter this job knowing high "pay" and salary is not our primary motivation, service is. Hopefully, in the future, we are able to compensate officers so that they are not consumed with the need to work extra "jobs" to make ends meet. It will decrease fatigue and stress for all personnel.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    One thing I try to encourage among my team is the need for physical conditioning and wellness. The job we do as officers is stressful and having a way to cope with that stress in extremely important. One message that I try to send to my people on a regular basis is that physical health directly correlates to mental health. I have recommended a physical fitness incentive within my organization, but like in the video, the answer is always no due to budget restrictions. I am also a firm believer that physical fitness and fatigue go hand in hand. The more physically fit you are the less likely you are to experience fatigue.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    Physical fitness, stress, and fatigue are all issues we have witnessed in law enforcement. My agency tries to address the fitness issue by offering additional pay based on your score of a voluntary fitness assessment. We hold a mandatory fitness assessment for recertification month, and a score of 80% or better in each event receives a ribbon to be worn on your uniform. Even paying officers for keeping themselves in shape, does not work for the majority of officers.

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      I agree. Out of 350 plus employees we average only 50 even participating in the "Fit Force" program for extra money. I have discussed with the Sheriff the ineffectiveness of the annual mandatory fitness assessments at re-certs and he is committed to the program. This month we should be opening the fitness centers at to office locations. Policy does provide provisions for removing employees from enforcement positions if certain benchmarks are not met on the fitness assessment, but the Sheriff works with employees who were already in enforcement prior to the implementation of the standards. We are very open to ideas on how to positively address this are of employ

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    My department does not currently have a physical fitness assessment . However. we do have a policy in place for the amount of hours a deputy can work consecutively in a 24 hour period to keep from being fatigued. I think it would be wise if our agency implemented a physical fitness program. I feel this would greatly reduce stress and deputies would have stronger body's and minds.

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      Henry Dominguez

      I couldn't agree more on agencies implementing a physical fitness policy, It is very easily overlooked on staying in shape, especially with such busy schedules. Young officers for my department in the past have worked way to many hours in a 24 hour period to where the department now has a policy of maximum hours allowed to work and a minimum hours of time off before returning back.

  • Edit

    This module is packed with important information for leaders to keep in the forefront of their minds. One very important point of emphasis I believe is the recognition of incidents that are either intentional or unintentional. I was immediately reminded of a situation I was part of investigating where an officer searched a suspect and found contraband but missed a weapon. Several other officers were involved in a chain of events that resulted in the weapon not being found until the suspect was in the detention center. No one was injured but the incident infuriated the leadership. After a full investigation a preliminary suggestion for "punishment" was handed down. The original officer who missed the weapon and felt horrible about it was scheduled for a 2 week suspension and his supervisor a week's suspension. In the course of investigation 4 other deputies were identified as having the responsibility to search the subject. One admitted to an improper incomplete search and the other three admitted to not searching him at all. I objected strongly to the suggested discipline feeling all had missed the weapon and none were more egregious than the other. After considering this module I feel the original officer actually should have had less punishment as he tried where the others did not. The original disciplinary suggestion was scrapped and the entire agency was given additional retraining on searches and not becoming complacent.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      It is far to easy to look into an accident/mistake and immediately start trying to blame someone rather than try to understand how it happened and is there something to be done to make sure it doesn't happen again. The first thing I always ask is was this a mistake of the heart or the mind?

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Personal health and wellness are subjects that are frequently overlooked by employers, even outside of law enforcement. Only recently have wellness initiatives been put in place that are joint ventures between the department and human resources. They provide screenings and incentives for healthy choices.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      Our department has teamed up with our health care providers on a wellness program and every year we get reevaluated. i've seen improvements in my overall health since the programs began. Also helps that my Apple Watch makes me feel guilty when i don"t close my rings or reach my 10k steps daily.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    The importance of using all media to humanize officers and educate the public is extremely important. This must be done prior to any conflict as trust must be built before it is needed. After our last officer involved shooting some members of the community were stating why didn't the officer just shoot the gun out of the suspects hands rather than kill him. Our agency has done a fairly well job of keeping a positive relationship with the community and this issue did not boil over. This humanizing must be constant and repetitive as the negative impact of unrealistic movies and a biased media is non stop.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      I believe our PIO does an excellent job in humanizing the badge on social media. Not only does he put out crime related issues, but more frequently it's about how the Sheriff's Office is helping the community. When people see us on the road they'll stop and say you're so and so, which helps in opening up conversation with the public.

      • Edit
        guttuso_fa@jpso.com

        Our PIO has also stepped our social media presence with documenting all of the good we do in the community. Social media is definitely the way to get this information out to the public as since this is where most of the public gets it's information from now. Not to mention we can't expect the traditional media to put out those types of police stories.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    I believe in being not only physically fit to perform the job of a law enforcement officer, but being mentally prepared as well. I have often spoken to the people under my command about both and have encouraged them to the point where a gym, at where I am a coach, has offered them a greatly reduced rate in order to join. The issue is you can only lead a horse to water, but when Taco Bell and soda are free, but salads and water are not, you get what you get. As a newer officers, I used to say, “if it’s free, it’s for me,” and my health paid the price…I’m better now – lol!

    That leads to the fatigue issue. The reason some officers are eating like crap and not sleeping is because they usually have to seek secondary or extra duty employment to make ends meet. It is sad that this profession is so often dumped on then not paid well enough that officers have to resort to finding a side-hustle to support their families. I definitely did not get into law enforcement to get rich, but it would be nice if officers were paid as much as the entertainers and athletes they are sworn to protect.

    Off my soap box

  • Edit
    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In the learning area 3, module 1, the instructor really implemented a lot of important parts as far as fatigue and stress. The instructor really gave a very good insight of the consequences of Human Factors. Learning so much more of the IACP Resolution should be known everywhere and at every agency. Fatigue is real and the secondary employment as well while putting in long hours.

    • Edit
      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree we as officers get so focus on the money that we put our health on the side.

      • Edit
        dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

        Exactly! It got so bad in my agency that we now have what we refer to as the "16 hour rule". Meaning, officers are not allowed to work longer that 16 hours straight without being off for a minimum of 8 hours. This has forced changes in how we log payroll and how we are able to work details. Everything is electronic.

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    Henry Dominguez

    Fatigue is real and associate that with stress can have large damaging affects on a person. As leaders we need to encourage stress relievers like physical conditioning and implementing policies to help prevent some of the things we can. By taking the Human Factors this allows us to recognize stress, fatigue, and lack of physical conditioning our officers as well as ourselves might be experiencing.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    This modules message about health and fitness along with stress management cannot be ignored. Speaking from personal experience when i began my enforcement career i, as the one time Chief told me, i was morbidly obese. No one to blame but myself. After several years working corrections and saw the dangers i had to deal with, along with a desire to join our Patrol Division. I made it a point to lose over 60 lbs on my own. Sure the extra weight helped when holding an inmate or suspect down, but a fight for my life scenario i know i wasn't prepared for. Managing stress is a different monster of its own, when the very job you suit up for naturally increases stress the minute you put your duty belt on. Departments should have an avenue for their officers to admit to stress induced problems without the stigma follows admitting to having problems.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    The most important thing for a department to do is to focus on officer safety. Part of this should include focusing on an officer's mental and physical health. Unfortunately, know of departments that have had to modify or discontinue their ongoing physical fitness programs due to civil liabilities where employees have sued their department because they were injured during physical fitness assessments. Even with time limits put on outside work, I still find deputies are working too many hours and are often fatigued.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    Fatigue has to be one of the biggest problems in our profession. Working night shift is bad enough on its own but then you stay up to work a side job and have to be back that night your head is not in the game at all. Many departments limit the number of hours you can work off duty per week. This can help but is still not a perfect solution.

    • Edit
      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      Shift work is a large portion of causing fatigue. Officers sleep cycles are never regular and officers in turn do not get the sleep that is needed.

  • Edit
    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Fatigue is probably the largest factor when considering officer safety. Officers work an enormous amount of extra hours on top of the shifts that they have to cover. There are many things that can happen when a person does not get the rest that is needed.

  • Edit

    As a young officer, I used to be an officer that could work all day and all night and I would be "ok." After reading this lecture, I guess I dodged some bullets by not getting into an accident or making the wrong decision. I also never understood as an officer, why limits were placed on extra jobs and regular duty shifts.

    This lecture was a great reminder, of liability issues, and the reminder that we are all human, and can make mistakes. Having boundaries in place will limit this.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      Scott, I was thinking the same thing as I was going through this module. Sleep was not a priority for me at the beginning of my career. I would run from a twelve hour shift to an 8 hour detail without a second thought. Luckily, those days are few and far between now.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    This lecture has reminded me taking care of myself and being fit for duty, is vital to myself and the community I protect and serve. Being fit for duty can prepare to deal with stressful situations that may arise.

    • Edit
      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree that physical fitness is a massive part of our job duties. I see so many officers who are overweight and not fit for duty. It's always a concern if that person gets into an altercation with a subject.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    Cops depend on details to supplement their income. In several cases, officers coming off shifts will go straight to details, regardless of how tired they are. Working extra duty doesn’t exempt officers from having to deal with stressful situations. Although cops will find details that are “easy money”, the human factor still exists in that fatigue will lead to mistakes. These mistakes can often lead to dangerous outcomes.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      There is not an officer in the law enforcement profession who has not had to supplement their income with extra duty or a second job at some point in their careers, but we must find a way to manage our time effectively so that we are still able to keep these human factors in check. More often than not these officers are more likely to get into a higher stress situation while employed on this secondary job than while on the primary.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Good point. While many officers supplement their incomes with details, overtime, and/or secondary employment, it should be done in moderation. The money is nice but when we have officer's working so much they are falling asleep while driving home or so irritable that they have trouble using self-control when handling a complaint...then at some point we become responsible as an agency to step in and do something to reduce the risk to themselves and others.

    • Edit
      Adam Gonzalez

      This is also a sensitive area for many of us. Like you, I am not sure how other police officers would "make it financially" if not for overtime and/or secondary employment. The fact is, police do not make a lot of money for much of the risk and liability placed upon them. Factor in a family where the mother stays at home to raise the children, and you have a volatile situation from a fiscal standpoint. Not sure about others but I did not seek out having children just to pay others to raise them differently than how I would have them raised. Raising the next generation is just too important to me to leave it to strangers that are doing it for money. Again, these factors and more combine for especially tight financial consequences.

  • Edit
    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    I have always known the negative impacts on our job performances from fatigue, stress, and lack of physical fitness. Having them linked together and emphasis placed on leaders to regulate them is much needed in most agencies. I know in my agency we have a 16-hour rule for duty but very often it is overlooked which is a bad practice that will not be a problem until it is a problem. We must regulate these human factors better in order to ensure the safety of our staff and community alike.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      Dustin this is where I will probably disagree with a lot of the "experts" on the matter because most of them have never lived on a police officers salary and also don't know that criminals don't keep a schedule for us at to when they will commit crime, That would be nice if they did. So I work an 8-hour shift, go home and at 9 that night catch a homicide. Still working at 5 in the morning, because we caught the suspect at 3 and are now a couple of hours into an interview. Now I've been up for coming up on 24 hours and I'm at my 16 hours. Do I say sorry Mr. Bad Guy, I'm at my 16 hours and now need 8 hours rest, so can you hang out here until I get back and we finish this interview?

    • Edit
      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree that we must not only come up with a policy per day but also per workweek. working 12 or 16 hours a day with no day off is not beneficial to allowing you to relieve stress from work. Some will say they can handle it, but when something happens, the Agency will pay the price along with the officer.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    I get it that we need regulations on the amount of hours worked, but I disagree with a blanket policy of you can't work over 16 hours. Policies pigeon hole us a great deal and things happen in law enforcement that are beyond our control. It is very difficult to stop a murder investigation, because the clock has struck 16 hours. As far as secondary employment, I would think that 95% of police officers couldn't make it without secondary employment. It's easy to manage it when you set a number of hours, for the secondary employment, but what about when something unforeseen happens and you need that employee for something after the secondary employment. Criminals don't give us a schedule and neither does mother nature when weather or other extenuating factors come into play. We manage it as best we can, but sometimes police are going to work more hours than they should, its the way it is and has always been.

    • Edit

      Derek, I agree with the comments of clocks do not govern our investigations. Police will sacrifice so much of themselves physically and mentally without any concern of how long it is taking. The only thing I've seen slow down an investigation is hunger! It is all well and good to have this Human Factor conversation and in a perfect would it would be great if we could stop based on our agendas but like you said, police are going to work more than they should and is just the way it is.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    Secondary employment will always be a factor in police work. Officers will never make the money that they should, thus making them seek out details or secondary employment. Physical Fitness is a massive area of concern that I see in law enforcement. There are officers on the streets that are in poor physical condition that can either hurt themselves or their partners due to their capabilities. Our department has a gym and basketball court, yet you only see a quarter of the people who utilize these assets.

  • Edit
    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Very good segment and at the right time with the events in Minneapolis. Agencies must do everything possible to prevent stress, fatigue and physical/mental stress from causing tragic incidents like we have going on today. Human factors may have not played a roll in this case but I'm sure they have before and one life is not worth the budget concerns with lack of training or staffing. This is critical that we catch up to the private sector and demand that rest periods are taken. We can not force health lifestyles in every aspect but Agencies should do everything possible to prevent unnecessary death and injuries to both the community and officers.

  • Edit
    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    Information on how human factors such as physical condition, fatigue, and stress effect officer’s performance is helpful in understanding when some officers start receiving complaints, or early warnings of diminished performance. Years ago, we were looking at an officer’s diminished performance and decision-making and realized they were working 12 hours shifts and then working a six-hour detail…we soon realized that he was fatigued and had to mandate that he work less details because it was affecting their performance. Coaching, some additional training, time off and reducing the excess number of hours helped the officer have some clarity and improved is performance over the long term.

    Additionally, we had to consider physical readiness and fatigue when considering allowing employees to roll over or sell back their vacation time. We had to limit the number of hours they could roll over or sell not just for financial reason but also to force some people to use their time off to recharge the batteries of their mental and physical health.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I think fatigue is a huge issue regarding police officers nowadays. Police officers are constantly tasked with doing more with less. Also, to make ends meet, police officers are working paid off duty assignments and overtime more and more. Our agency has a sixteen-hour rule as an attempt to minimize officer fatigue.

    • Edit

      our agency has the same 16 hour rule and the policy states if an officer calls in sick he must work a full tour of duty before working an extra duty detail. i strongly agree with this polcy becuase i have seen officers work large amouts of extra duty and it had negative impacts on their assigned job duites on shift.

  • Edit

    As a leader, I think it is important that we understand the human factors that can have an effect on our employees performance and mental health. This module was a reminder of the importance of having measures in place to address physical fitness, fatigue, and stress.

    • Edit
      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree as a leader, the human factors have a significant influence on improving safety and can be a result of secondary employment.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    This module was especially meaningful considering the challenging times we are currently facing. When the topic was discussed around Human Factors and Public Education, I thought about how difficult things are for our society right now. I was not surprised to hear that most of public receive all of their information about how law enforcement works from either the news or movies. That is a scary thought. I do feel like developing stronger bonds with our communities could be helpful and I hope that these mostly skewed perceptions will improve.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    With the rise of social media, the public most certainly can get a skewed sense of our job as the instructor indicated. This has been an especially sensitive area for me personally. It has been challenging to watch as the increase of social media has risen, the immediate reactions that take place have seemingly become overwhelming at times. It has been my observation for the need to request and re-request the need for those deeply involved in this sort of media exchange to please gather the facts before making serious judgments regarding actions by others, particularly those entrusted to execute the law by professional means.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    Stress and fatigue factors in law enforcement are a given. add on top of that you being in a supervisory position and it just compounds. The phone calls at 2 am for simple task that they should know how to address. Little things like that on top of the job description compound. Then you take vacation for a week or so and you believe that stress is gone, it isn't it is just masked. Open the door to the building on your day back and it hits you like a ton of bricks, you can feel it hit your shoulders.

    • Edit

      Devin you are spot on with your vacation example. The only time it feels like a vacation is the days prior to actually taking one. The minuet it starts all you can focus on is when you have to return. Our inability to disassociate our self from our job means we take that stress with you where ever you go.

  • Edit

    Leaders need to understand how Human Factors such as physical fitness, fatigue, and stress in our employees is vital to ensure the mental health of our employees. Law enforcement is already a stressful career without the added factors of the media and society's distorted views. As leaders, it is our responsibility to evaluate and monitor our officers during increased times of stress.

    • Edit

      I agree with you, that we must monitor, but we also have to try to keep undue stress from hitting our officers or deputies. Sometimes, it is our responsibility to stand up and make sure that our employees have some things taken off of them. Things are tough right now, so we need to stepp it up to take care of our people.

      • Edit
        Deputy Mitchell Gahler

        I agree. We need to work together to find opportunities to get together, both on and off duty, to help alleviate stress, whether it's at the gym, or finding other opportunities to take care of fatigue and stress. These past couple of years, a partner and I have had the opportunity to go to the gym to gain physical and mental strength. A few of us on our days off like to hit the links and take in a good game of golf to alleviate stress and have a good time together.

    • Edit
      Lt. Mark Lyons

      I agree. As leaders we need to be more aware of our staff in order to recognize any signs of unusual behavior, mood swings, or other indicators of potential problems.

  • Edit

    The point of considering fatigue should be taken into account, always when dealing with a breakdown in officer performance. Many times the root cause is the officer's personal situation. Officers that work a lot of details may e fatigued, but so is the officer who has a child who is either young or ill. Too many times those in positions of authority do not realize the factors that younger officers have to deal with that may take away rest and recreation time.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    The effects of fatigue and stress is a deadly combination. Far too often officers’ lives are cut short due to the long-term effects of stress, fatigue, PTSD, and a host of other physical and mental health problems. Most of those problems usually lead to officers battling alcoholism, drug addiction (usually prescribed medications), etc.

    As a training officer, I always try my best to talk about these issues with our staff to get everyone talking about them openly instead of hiding the issues. I try to make it NORMAL for everyone to have these types of conversations in an effort to keep them from feeling like they need to hide their problems. We all need to do our part in making sure we (and our fellow officers) don’t contribute to the statistics.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      Mark, it is wonderful that you take the time to have conversations with the staff. This is a practice I use in my correctional center. I am fortunate to have a smaller facility and I speak to as many officers on duty within their tour of duty days. It allows me to build a trusting relationship and I can observe if someone is fatigued or withdrawn. My team members and I do our best to reach out and assist their needs.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    My agency is addressing 2 of the 3 human factors. To combat fatigue of officers we have instituted a 16 hour rule. During normal working conditions (no emergency situations) we are only allowed to work 16 hours in a 24 hour period. The problem is that a number of our officers need to work on their days off just to make ends meet. This results in a serious lack of "down time". We have begun to address the factor of physical conditioning. We recently moved into a new building and a small gym was installed. The department had also began a physical assessment program. Then COVID-19 hit and the gym was closed and all training ceased. Now things have started to open up again and I intend to take advantage of what the department is offering us in the area of physical fitness. Unfortunately the only thing I see that our agency has done against the most deadly of the human factors STRESS is offer an employee assistance plan.

  • Edit

    This module is spot on when the lecturer speaks about officer stress and wellness. It has been readily apparent that focused training and skills for officer safety, public safety and education, and wellness are essential! We need to stress to officers and leaders that it is paramount to have EAP and CIT teams to help officers and personnel to deal with critical incidents. It is definitively and markedly important to streamline our training and outreach to all members of society and LEO personnel.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    Stress alone is a human factor and combined with lack of sleep is traumatic. Lack of sleep, stress, lack of exercise, poor diet are all factors, amongst many that lead to poor physical health or lack of physical conditioning. This is important because often the salaries earned by their employees are not enough to sustain their family's lifestyle.

  • Edit

    Two things that are a cops greatest enemy, OT and details. Since most agencies do not pay that well many officers elect to grab up as many details as allowed or work as much extra OT they can get their hands on. Our agency has a 16 hour rule that forces officers to have at least an 8 hour break between details, OT and normal shift duties. Lump this in with a revolving 12 hour shift and it makes for deputies who look like the walking dead. I hated the 12 hour night shifts because after 6-8 hours production just falls off the cliff.

    I believe that Law Enforcement in general does a horrible job when it comes to making sure its officers are mentally and physically prepared to do the job. As long as they have bodies in patrol cars or in dorms for corrections, they could care less how you are feeling. We have all been guilty of coming to work sick because calling out would make a short shift even shorter. We have a long way to go to properly fix the problems addressed by this module.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I agree. The start of even trying to fix anything begins with the hiring process,. The problem is agencies hire for the bodies and not the inspiration for the job. This is one of many reasons why you and I go to work sick, exhausted and dreary.

  • Edit
    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    Human Factors and leadership

    Long shift work and overtime can affect job performance. I have been impacted by some of these conditions. I try and keep a routine exercise plan. I try to be persistent; I find this can help with stress and allow your body to get the rest and relaxation it needs

  • Edit
    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    Human factors play a crucial part in how an agency can improve the public’s education concerning safety in the community. It is critical that human factors be addressed in the law enforcement field. Officers typically do not allow themselves to think about the emotional aspect of their duties. As leaders we need to assist those under our command to work on deliberately enhancing their emotional needs. This would help in the safety of the community and our officers.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    This module discussed Physical and mental fitness, mental fatigue, and the effects of stress on the body. These are three issues all law enforcement officers should take seriously. I read a lot of comments about the 12 hour shift work being the causer, I agree to an extent, but i believe it is just one part of the issue. When I read some of the comments posted it sounds like changing the schedule is going to be a fix- everything solution, which, I think is just silly.

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      Lt. Joseph Flavin

      I agree that changing the schedule is not a fix everything solution. If people don't take their health seriously then changing the schedule is only applying a band-aid to the issue at hand. At my agency, we work an 8 week rotating schedule but work 10's instead of 12's. There has been some discussion from patrol deputies about switching to a 12hr schedule but I don't think that would be beneficial in the long run.

      • Edit
        Robert Schei

        Schedules created by your employer are important but just as important is what you are doing away from work. For me I enjoy a 12 hour shift because I am at work or resting, relaxing in my 12 off. When I work a 10 or an 8 I end up doing all sorts of other family related activities and typically are lest rested for work.

        • Edit

          I think Robert brings up a good point. Department's look at schedules vs. work life balance but never consider what an officer does with their off time and how it can impact the agency. Many officers do A LOT of secondary. Sometimes this can have a negative/ cumulative impact on an officers performance at their primary place of employment. My department limits the number of hours a person can work secondary to ensure that the staff member has time to decompress. While not discussed, I think that many officers (like everyone else) find themselves taking care of elderly parents. This creates a lot of additional stress and time commitment that goes unnoticed by most employers. Leaders and employees who have open and honest dialogues should be able to discuss these issues and develop possible remediation's that benefit both the organization and the employee.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    Human factors play a critical role in police officers' well-being, emphasizing physical conditioning, fatigue, and stress. Regarding long work hours, horrible work schedules, and mostly sedentary conditions, the demands of the job contribute to many of our officers being out of shape and in poor health.

    Concerning physical fitness, the biggest problem I see is complacency, a common human characteristic. Ms. Harrington used the example that if an officer knew in six months that they would be in a fight for their life, would they start training for that fight now? The answer is probably yes.

    As we are all well aware, law enforcement is a dangerous profession. The bottom line is that officers should be fit enough to perform the task required for their position. This will increase the probability of themselves and their fellow officers going home at the end of their shift. As leaders, we need to actively model and encourage this mindset.

    • Edit
      Sergeant James Schueller

      I agree on the example Dr Harrington gave of "If an Officer knew in six months..." being a good example. i try and work out but often find "other things" take precedence when in reality, I make a lot of excuses. I know how much better I feel when I do work out, and it does effect Officer presence and confidence. The nature of our work should be reason enough, but a reminder such as this example is often needed to hit things home.

      • Edit
        Sergeant Chad Blanchette

        Very true. It is certainly easy to fall into an unhealthy groove and make excuses for not taking care of ourselves.

      • Edit
        Christopher Lowrie

        I agree James. Every time I go to qualify at the range I leave thinking to myself that I should shoot more often but unfortunately I don't usually follow through on it. I do exercise frequently so I at least have that going for me.

    • Edit
      Sergeant Durand Ackman

      Your comment is spot on. Complacency is a battle many struggle with. I also liked the example of knowing you'll be in a fight in six months. I have to believe everybody would have the same answer to that question but I often find other things to occupy my time and my priorities get out of line.

  • Edit
    Deputy Mitchell Gahler

    In the module, Human Factors and Officer Resiliency, Harrington discussed the importance of the three human factors that can have a great deal of influence on improving safety. I have experienced that physical conditioning has given me the tactical edge in both my mental and physical fitness throughout my job duties. This area has allowed me to relieve stress after work and on my days off, and gives me the confidence when dealing with the general public. Although I have been lacking in this area as of late, I have realized how important it has been in my life while on and off duty.

    • Edit

      I agree. I make it a point every day to go to the gym. It is my hour and a half every day where I can clear my mind and not think of work-related items. It helps me with the mental health aspects of the job. In addition, much like you mentioned it has given me more confidence in my abilities to work through rapidly evolving situations. We also know from training and experience that oftentimes suspects will size officers up and if they suspect that the officer is unsure of themselves they are more apt to resist that officer.

    • Edit

      I agree. Since I have been chief (15 months) I have been for the most part sitting at a desk or attending meetings. I can feel the stress and weight keeping up. I need to get back into a regular workout schedule.

  • Edit
    Lt. Joseph Flavin

    Physical condition, fatigue, and stress. Those three human factors have the greatest influence on us as police officers. Physical conditioning is something that I have improving for myself over the last few years. It took me time to realize how important it is. I think as leaders we need to have these important conversations with the people we work with. Understanding that shift work can be detrimental to our health, we need to factor that in when scheduling department wide trainings as well as consider if moving to a different type of schedule would be beneficial. Physical conditioning can be a solution to those struggling with stress and fatigue.

    • Edit
      Kyle Phillips

      Joseph, I agree with what you stated regarding scheduling trainings around shift work and keeping the effects of scheduling in mind in regards to shift rotation.

  • Edit

    This is an excellent module and comes at an excellent time with everything going on in our society. Stress is high and It definitely hits home with both the mental health side of things and the physical health side of things. I know for us right now, because of COVID and having to quarantine, many of our officers are working extra hours. If we don't actively monitor it can definitely cause fatigue where mistakes or officer safety mistakes can be made. We have been trying to adjust schedules and rotate some of our field staff to work in the jail to give some people some time off. In addition, we have added another gym to our office and encourage individuals to use it if they can. I believe that using the gym once a day can greatly reduce stress and get rid of those bad hormonal toxins from being stressed. It is something I need to do every day to clear my mind and feel healthier.

    • Edit

      What a novel idea...adding a gym! And with great equipment, I hope. I find it disheartening some agencies preach health, fitness and wellness but do little, if any, to deliver quality equipment and guidance. It is certainly NOT all the agency's responsibility and I get that. However, it is really weird that nearly every firehouse I have ever been to across this country, they have some kind of gym inside of it and with pretty decent equipment. Someone should take some notes because the fire guys and gals must be doing something right!

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    Sergeant James Schueller

    Now more than ever, we (Law Enforcement) needs to educate the general public on the human factors that effect us and how we do our jobs. The three specific ones mentioned- Physical Conditioning, Fatigue, and Stress all directly effect our performance and how the public perceives us, both positive and negative. It's very easy for those who don't understand- or choose not to- that we are human, with feelings, emotions and physical reactions. Time spent on public education on the front end will hopefully lead to greater understanding when an incident occurs. But the fact remains that we need to take care of ourselves and each other- physically and mentally, if we hope to survive.

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      Ryan Manguson

      I fully agree Jim. There needs to be greater education of the public on the effects of a law enforcement career has on officers. Additionally department are starting to come around on the importance of officer wellness programs and investing funds in those programs. With that said, we shouldn't wait around for departments to create a wellness program to address our own physical fitness and mental health. We should be proactive in our own wellness.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    This lesson really hit home as l have experienced the effects of stress after an off duty injury. Additionally, I have seen close friends in law enforcement become chemically dependent of norcos. Others have become alcoholics and have been involved in traffic accidents, to the point one was a fatality. The point l am trying to make is that law enforcement institutions have to make a cultural change to allow the officers to say, “I am not okay” and speak up after a critical incident. Unfortunately the stigma of asking for help is being viewed as a sign of weakness. This has diminished the officers’ ability to seek assistance from peers or other professionals. Law enforcement is a peer survival driven profession. More awareness on Officer wellness needs to become a priority here in California and in our nation. First responders need more resources available to them and leaders have to pay attention to their personnel for signs of withdraw and/or maladaptive behaviors that could be a sign of the officer’s experiencing trauma or PSTI.

    As leaders we have to work on stress prevention rather than mitigation. Once our people show signs of cumulative stress or depression we already failed. Another big factor is internal conflict which causes more stress for our officers that the dangers of the job. As leaders we have to be aware of this and it is vital for us to mitigate any type of additional stress within our walls of the department. It is also important for all members of the institution to practice a balanced healthy life style to maintain resilience. After all, our people deserve a good place to work. Officers with less stress will be more effectively serving the public.

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    Kyle Phillips

    This lecture was a good reminder that physical fitness, and positive stress relief can have a real affect on how we present ourselves each day. As a leader, we need to model these behaviors within our organization. I have read articles about police agencies making an hour at the end of your shift a mandatory gym time. The officer is paid to use the gym as part of their daily shift. I believe this is quite forward thinking and would encourage this to become common place.

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    Sergeant Chad Blanchette

    A lot of good reminders this module. A good reminder that we need to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally.

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      Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

      I agree with you Chad. We do need reminders to take care of ourselves especially when outside of the work place.

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    Ryan Manguson

    This lecture was a good reminder on the human factors in law enforcement. It was an important reminder to take personal ownership in your own wellbeing, physical fitness and mental health. As mentioned, agencies can struggle with budgetary issues related to officer wellness, physically fitness, and mental health. With that said, I have seen in recent years an increased importance being placed on officer wellness initiative. I believe this is due to the recognized increase in office suicide rate as well as PTSD retirement claims. More departments are developing officer wellness programs and address both physical fitness as well as mental health. This is long over due.

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      Sergeant Paul Gronholz

      I'm proud of the steps RPD has taken to increase awareness for the importance of officer wellness. Law enforcement has recognized that being physical fit and having an established wellness program can #1 save lives and #2 save money. This is a step in the right direction and important to keep moving forward.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Various programs address wellness from a self-awareness perspective; getting a change in law enforcement culture to support treating the officers as human beings is needed. Too many leaders state their care and concern for the troops, yet they fail to execute or model a good example. This course's psychological aspects are rooted in self-awareness, for individuals to reflect on their values and beliefs and understand their role in the challenges. Resiliency and its many components are challenging to teach in a profession that treats its personnel as budgetary line items. We recognize these challenges in young people and individuals that have significant crises. However, the profession is known for having incredible challenges with character and self-destructive behaviors, to ignore known, proven, highly successful, inexpensive, and engaging programs.

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    Sergeant Paul Gronholz

    I appreciated the focus of this module. Unfortunately, putting physical/mental fitness gets put on the back burner due to the officer's busy work and family schedules. I order to try and create a culture of wellness at RPD, physical fitness has been integrated into the Academy. It's easy to tell officers to try and work in a physical fitness regime into their daily lives. We wanted to walk the walk and actually schedule PT into our Academy. We want officers to recognize physical fitness and therefore overall wellness as an essential part of life.

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      Maja Donohue

      I agree that getting the new recruits on the right path is important when it comes to physical fitness. I think what really goes a long way is for leaders and peers to model how they incorporate physical fitness into their daily lives and to encourage new hires to join the team effort to stay safe. When fitness becomes a part of the culture it is more difficult for people to come up with excuses not to take care of themselves. Encouragement and support from our peers can go a long way to motivate us.

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    Sergeant Durand Ackman

    Thankfully there has been an increased awareness and emphasis on wellness in my agency. Physical fitness and mental well being are often discussed and encouraged. This not only keeps the deputies safe on the job but it enhances their personal life as well. My hope is this increased emphasis will lengthen the lifespan for law enforcement and corrections staff.

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      Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree, we have the same mindset in our agency as well. Its amazing how much this has come to light in such a short period of time…or maybe I am paying more attention to it as I am getting older. I wish we could get to the point where our insurance would pay for a gym membership, while we do have a nice gym at our PD it can be tough to get there on days off.

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    Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

    This module had a lot of good reminders for officer wellness and safety. Wellness and safety go hand in hand with each other. There can sometimes be a fine line that we walk when it comes to fatigue and stress, specifically pertaining to extended work hours. How many times are we staying late beyond shift or volunteering to come in on our days off for an event? It seems as if sometimes our greatest strength (dedication, to serve and protect) can sometimes be a stressor on our personal and physical lives. This module reminded me to take a step back and take care of my personal physical and mental health

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    Robert Schei

    This module was a good reminder on the importance of taking care of yourself and that it is not all your employers responsibility. We have a responsibility to ourselves and our families as well. In recent years our agency has taken a very proactive role in helping with physical incentives, mental health and emotional support which I think is great. The benefits of staying in shape, reducing stress and getting the appropriate amount of sleep are well worth the extra effort.

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    While I am sure that there are many more human factors that influence an officer and the public he or she serves, the three discussed in this presentation are probably the biggest and easiest to address. My department seriously started discussing health and wellness in 2019. It started with department wide training on First Responder suicides and kind of morphed from there. Physical Conditioning has always been a big one. This was a big part every law enforcement officers initial training but once an officer gets to a department it falls by the wayside. Some departments have instituted mandatory fitness tests but I think the results are still out on the effectiveness of these programs since every agency has its own nuances to consider. I work at a university police department. In 2020 my department provided free gym memberships to all staff. This allowed employees to workout at any of the gym facilities on campus. I seem to be constantly reminding my junior leaders to keep an eye out for the effects of fatigue and stress. It's easy to think that just because we work on a university campus that fatigue and stress do not apply. Since 2014, our staff have responded to civil unrest throughout the St. Louis metropolitan region and have faced the same trials and tribulations as everyone else. Having served in the Army Reserve and having dealt with PTSD myself, I quickly saw the effects these continued deployments in support of other agencies was having on staff. I think the forming of a committee or working group and some of the other suggestions offered by the presenter to address these issue was appropriate. I think one thing that was not addressed was the importance of having a police chaplain program. programs such as this give staff another confidential means to address stress and fatigue.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    This unit contained some great information about human factors. I personally enjoy when the public becomes educated on why we don't shoot the gun out of the bad guys hand when he is attacking us or others. I enjoy citizen academy type experiences that recreate stressful situations and their use of force. Inevitably the citizen shoots someone who is unarmed or freezes in the scenario and is stabbed/shot. The more non law enforcement can experience this kind of training the better.

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      It would be a good idea (but someone would probably frown upon it) to have a few TV personalities come to a range and go through some of the shoot/no-shoot scenarios. Or, accompany us on a fatal crash. How about the attempt to subdue the next person who isn't fond of the idea of going to jail.

      We have to educate and promote ourselves. No one else is going to do this for us, that's evident.

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    Samantha Reps

    This learning lesson was a great reminder of how important it is to take care of ourselves and to be aware of the people around us. As it stated, sometimes people overlook signs on themselves so it is important we are looking out for each other.
    I also believe that situational awareness is something that we should be hitting on more often. It is something that people over look far too often.

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    Maja Donohue

    It certainly is not a new concept that stress, lack of physical conditioning, and fatigue have a negative effect on performance. What was interesting to hear in this lecture is that current research emphasizes the need for proactive response to human error. Soon, it may not be enough to state that these factors influence our response in critical incidents without taking action, because the public will expect that we take preventative measures to minimize the effect of human factors before a critical incident occurs. We have a personal responsibility to be mentally and physically fit for ourselves, our organization, and our communities. Dr. Harrington pointed out that we also have a responsibility to educate the public about human factors, and we certainly should, because discussing human error after a critical incident is not the ideal time to persuade anyone that you are human. These conversations can only happen if we build strong community connections and open dialogue on difficult topics, such as UOF. Our strategy has to be proactive and we have to look for positive ways to convey what our profession is about, how we are trained, and what is expected of the public when they have contact with the police.

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      Educating the public I think is a huge thing. We're viewed, at times, like robots who shouldn't make mistakes. Like the speaker said, TV and movies do us zero favor. We have to put ourselves out for the public to see and humanize our officers in this hampster wheel of negative law enforcement rhetoric.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree. The part on making sure to consider human factors as a part of incident review or investigation. This will identify areas for improvement or at the least offer a more constructive explanation for what had occurred and why. We must be proactive in the effort.

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    This module served as a great reminder of the three human factors with the greatest influence over a person’s behavior in a stressful situation. I like how Det. Harrington tied in Dr. Anderson’s four lifestyle keys (nutrition, exercise, relaxation and restful sleep) to IACP’s declaration of being dedicated to regulate, by policy, officer fatigue as well as citing Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s (ret) On Combat (great book!). As leaders, we need to be cognizant of not only our own environment, but also everyone in our organization. One person spinning out of control can have an incredibly damaging effect on an agency. However, the emphasis should be on employee health and survival…not just the agency’s health and survival, particularly when something bad happens. Developing relationships internally with staff, and externally with the community, is so important prior to some critical incident happening.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    This module explained how detrimental and important an officers' health and mental ability can affect the duties and reactions on the job. A police officer's profession is a greater risk than any paying career due to the heightened risk of violence and attacks. Police officers are a critical factor in the service of first responders. The priorities of police officers are to protect and serve the community. A profession in law enforcement is mentally challenging. Officers deal with long hours, rotating shifts, violent situations, and a decrease in public support. The career often leads to a “numb” emotional state of mind that can create chronic stress. The officers’ duties, shift work, extra duty and other obstacles that lead to fatigue can drastically effect overall, mental and physical ability. This has been a major impact on how agencies and departments are creating policies and procedures to train officers how to deal with these type of situations. In a recent training, deputies were advised of how long shifts such as 12 hour or longer rotation can lead to short and long term effects on the body. As a result, it can play a major role on who law enforcement respond when placed in high-risk situations.

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    Sergeant Kelly Lee

    Certainly agree with Dr. Harrington's "BIG 3" human factors with the greatest influence.
    1) Physical Conditioning
    2) Effects of Fatigue
    3) Effects of Stress

    We as agencies certainly need to do more and do better for our employees. I can admit that I have been one of those people driving around in the middle of the night at 0300 hours after a long shift and not really realize how I ended up from point A to point B. Interesting comment made by Harrington when she says driving around totally fatigued is like driving around at .10. I know I myself have pushed our agency to do better by building a gym where our deputies can go in, work out and reduce some stress along with getting some physical conditioning. Nothing has changed yet but there are still more conversations to be had!

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    This is an area that every Law Enforcement Officer is aware of however; most do not correct negative behavior. There is always some reason we cannot get enough sleep or eat properly. The gym always comes last in our order of things to do. The allure of secondary employment and overtime seem to be a way to better yourself. Ironically it tends to be out downfall.

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      Andy Opperman

      I agree, but I think the overtime habit is developed early in our career, and unfortunately before we realize it, we have built a pattern of many years of side jobs and overtime. As a supervisor you want to look at your people and tell them, "ok it’s time to go home," but you also are affecting their livelihood. Our department does have restrictions on the number of hours worked in a 24-hour period, but I still believe it’s too high. The question becomes where is the balance between working to provide and taking care of yourself and the community.

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        I agree with you Andy and since I work with Will, believe he would too. We have restrictions on the hours they can work as well, but don't strictly enforce them for the same reasons you mentioned. We typically leave that up to their sergeants to address if it appears the OT and Off-duty is affecting their scheduled work. I typically try to tell the new guys DO NOT budget your OT or off duty every, but realize I have been slipping on that advise lately. Life v. Livelihood

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      I couldn't have put that better William. Most days I feel like a rubber band in that I'm stretched so far I feel as though I could snap. Time, where does it go? Being able to workout on duty is a huge benefit that we have in my agency. One area not really covered is the inability to get away from work. As administrators, at least here, we're continually contacted off duty (email, phone, text, zoom, etc.)

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    Andy Opperman

    Human Factors are extremely important when it comes to todays policing and education. I think our department does a lot of great things to help our officers promote how to deal with stress in a healthy way but I don’t know that as leaders we tell our people enough when we think they need a break. This is where the officer’s individual ego gets in the way. Some of the great things our department offers are things like a workout facility just for our employees to include weights and cardio, we offer an employee assistance program along with a department POST Team or Police Officer Support Team. We also officer education for citizens in the form of teen and citizen academies. We can always add more education though about officer wellness. On the negative side, I do not hear many supervisors telling their people when they think they have worked too many hours. Shift work especially for many of the night shift officers can be a difficult task for the human mind and spirit. I also think it is especially important that we push training and education on the young officers at the beginning of their career as they will be the ones working many of the tough shifts. It will also help prepare them for the rest of their career.

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    COVID 19. Riots. Pipeline. Media. Politicians.

    Human factors affect us all. The line officers have been stretched so thin in the past few years but most recently, 2020. Shift coverages have changed social distancing, masks, political upheaval, riots, anti-law enforcement rhetoric. What more can we possibly ask of our officers? Stress levels are likely at an all-time high. Activity is at an all-time low. Morale has suffered. All this has to equal health issues that we likely don't even see yet.

    I know for myself, stress causes me a lack of sleep or at least restful sleep. How often I wake up thinking about work-related topics is amazing and terrible. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems like we're fighting each other internally and at the same time, we're getting the squeeze from external sources. In my agency, we've started down a path to assist our officers with mental health issues by partnering with a psychologist. We have also started a peer support group. We pay our officers while they are working out on duty. The goal here is to at least manage the stress our officers feel.

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    I think this is an area our office does fairly well at, for the most part. We have two gyms for employees and groups that regularly encourage each other to go. The sheriff also pays for MMA type training for anyone who wants to attend. They offer options for mental health regularly. However, we have a lot of off duty employment and traffic enforcement grants that we could probably regulated better, all though that might incite a riot of its own. And I'm not a fan of our phone policy since it constantly goes off from text, calls and emails...sometimes it feels like you never get away from work. Like anything, there are ways to make improvements.

    I personally feel that physical fitness alone can dramatically help improve all three factors.
    Speaking of factors, does anyone have any recent studies or info on shift changes? Our shifts rotate between day and night every 28 days, 12 hour shifts with a three-day weekend every other week. The 28-day part has been something that several have felt needs to change for years now. Some would prefer a permanent schedule. Anyone have a favorite rotating shift schedule?

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    This lesson discussed the 3 human factors being physical conditioning, stress, and fatigue. In law enforcement, fatigue and stress seem to be huge causes of burnout. We work a lot of strange hours often with no consistency. I have learned that working night shift can often increase that fatigue and stress even if sometimes are shifts seem to be less busy. The lack of sleep, extreme intake of caffeine, and our personal lives demanding us to be awake during the day when most people are creates additional stress and overall is most likely negatively impacting our health. As administration, this should be extremely important and every effort should be made to not constantly flex shifts for those individuals that are already working odd hours. When they have to flip flop for trainings or other extra duties, going night shift to day shift is very challenging.

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      Kari,

      I agree having worked midnights for years; going to days from mids on a double is difficult. I did find working out on midnight shift to be easier though as call volume is usually reduced and from a corrections view the inmates are most often times sleeping in between round checks. Poor nutrition on midnights was also an issue with very limited food choices if personnel failed to bring their own food.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      I agree, it is very challenging. In our agency we grant and approve overtime based on seniority like most places. We constantly deal with the situation where junior staff get repeatedly forced to work overtime. Our department does have mandated that a person cannot work more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period and they must have at least 8 hours of rest in between shifts. BUT I see the same junior staff working their whole rotation on forced overtime and it really deflates me when senior staff do not step up. Eventually the junior staff gets burned out and pissed because nobody stepped up to help them. Yet in my position, what can I do to help that situation? I cannot force a senior staff member to take their place and I cannot change my staffing requirements. This also borders on union stuff but I hear what you’re saying.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Physical Conditioning, Fatigue and Stress.
    I know that during the summer months that many in my agency will forced to work multiple double shifts per week. This has been the case for decades as from an HR standpoint it is cheaper to pay someone OT then hire new personnel to reduce the amount of OT. This creates untold stress on our employees and directly effects their physical conditioning. After working 3 additional shifts through the week often times they are to fatigued to work out and choose to sleep and spend time with their families. As leaders it is incumbent on us to find creative ways to still allow for physical conditioning which has a direct effect on the fatigue and stress.

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    Law enforcement is like any other government agency in that change is either sudden (usually due to a knee-jerk reaction which are usually wrong) of very slow incremental change. Physical and mental fitness have been important to cops since i got into law enforcement. They just haven't been important to administrators and agencies. This is either due to culture where well being hasn't been valued or its due to a lack of funding/support.

    My generation (gen x) and Millennials start to occupy top positions in government, there will be a shift. We grew up in a time where more importance has been placed on physical, mental health, and work/life balance. Hopefully, that will translate into more funding/support.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    Good information and very practical. It is clear that in today's fast paced world of law enforcement it seems none stop. Officers tend to continually work. This is magnified when officers work extra jobs trying to compensate for low wages. It is an issue with overtime demands due to staffing issues. All of this creates a recipe for significant human factor conditions impact. It is important that we work to create a culture to focus on officer well-being. It is important that we work to educate the public on how human factors impact officer performance and to humanize the officers.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    It’s interesting how we all know the human factors and how it effects our bodies in connection with difficult situations, yet we do very little for ourselves and others to help it. As I’ve aged, the effects that stress and fatigue have on me has dramatically increased. Probably due to my lack of physical fitness. I see it in my staff as well, the irritability, mood swings, impaired decision making. Over the last year it has been particularly difficult with training. In my case, I see staff responding to situations, wishing they had handled things better. I can’t blame them, because for us as an agency, we haven’t been able to do any defensive tactics or use of force training in over a year. 2020 was a doozy for everyone and we will suffer the consequences of that year for many more. Now is when our peer support teams should pick up the pace. Many pushed their way through last year…waiting for relief. Emergency staffing, riots, pandemic, distance learning, isolation, on top of our already stress filled lives. I am forever chasing my tail.

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      Nicole Oakes

      Jacqueline I can totally relate. It has been a tough year in 2020. But it is a new year and we made it through and with our of our heart and commitment to law enforcement we will continue on!

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    Nicole Oakes

    Our Police Department takes physical and mental fitness seriously, they offer a gym that is accessible 24 hours a day and we have the Employee Assistance Program which offers counseling for free for officers and their families. We have to take control of our lives and make it important that we take care of our well being.

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      Brad Strouf

      Exactly Nicole. My agency offers so much more in 2021 than it did even twenty years ago. While we can never stop improving in facilitating the services, we are making progress.

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    Brad Strouf

    While we still have a long way to go in the way of physical and mental health services for law enforcement, the steps we have taken over the last three decades are impressive. My agency has a fully staffed gym (weights, cardio, etc.) along with a physical fitness incentive. The mental health services that were hidden away years ago are now advertised and the stigma attached seems to be waning. We are moving in the right direction.

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      Brad,
      I totally agree with you we are moving in the right direction. Along with the physical health the mental health services are no doubt just as important.

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    There were a lot of very good points made during this module. Fatigue plays such a large factor in our decision making process. As a leader this should be taken into account when allowing our personal to work a large amount of overtime, extending shifts, and assignments to special details. From having an individual experiencing fatigue may cause sooner burn out then possibly the next individual.

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      Matthew Menard

      I agree. I have had a few staff members that I have had to deny overtime details to because I recognized they were working too much. They claimed they were fine and not fatigued, however I knew it was my duty to make sure they got enough time away from work for their wellbeing.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      It is important for us to rest, relax and recharge when not at work. I must admit that I do have to learn to have time for myself when not on the clock. Too often do i find myself still working even when away on a much needed vacation. I cant do anyone any good being burned out.

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    Jarvis Mayfield

    Internal conflict, I feel is that the secondary employer tends to pay more to the Officers than the department and at that point he or she depends on that money to sustain their current life style and may be deferent from the departmental policy and procedures to accommodate the secondary employer. I have noticed one thing is that the officers start to feel loyalty to the secondary officer has a internal conflict.

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    Matthew Menard

    It's important to remember at the end of the day, we're all human. We need to take care of our bodies and get plenty of rest to be effective at work. We as leaders also need to be aware of the stresses that our staff feel and recognize when it is time to pull them back and mitigate that stress as much as we can. My agency has a policy that unless there is an emergency situation, all staff must have at least 8 hours between shifts to allow for proper rest. I find it amazing how debilitating fatigue can be on good decision making and a person's ability to stay focused.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    With all of the concern given to fatigue, as evidenced by the IACP resolution, countering the challenges requires a change in the profession's culture. The challenges placed on the profession's members counter the data and science behind the human factor's dangers. For many, with the 12+ hour rotations and switching from days to nights and supervisors glued to a phone 24/7, we are openly placing our people at risk. We have prioritized the "what" we do more than creating new ways to meet the changing requirements placed on us by society while maintaining the force.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    Unfortunately, i think human factors of fatigue and stress will always be a part of law enforcement and public safety. We may not be able to eliminate these so we must learn to manage them. Law enforcement is constantly under the public's eye even more so with social media adding to an already stressful profession. to compound the stress is the fatigue of shift work and man power shortages. Thankfully stress management was already discussed. The law enforcement professional should have their time for rest and recharge when they're off from work.