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Civilian forensic technician and sworn police officer job-related stress

Authors: Selena McKay-Davis, Tharinia Robinson, Ismail M Sebetan, Paul Stein

Forensic Technicians provide crime scene investigation services and are exposed to stressful violent crimes, motor vehicle accidents, biological or chemical hazards, and other appalling imagery. Forensic Technicians would likely experience physical and psychological stress after exposure to trauma, and security vulnerabilities similar to Sworn Police Officers. The perceived availability of mental health resources, job-related physical, psychological stress, and traumatic experiences of both Forensic Technicians and Sworn Police Officers from California law enforcement agencies were investigated using a self-reported survey. Responses were evaluated for any significant differences in the perceived stress, job-related physical stress, and resulting psychological impact affecting the participants. The survey contained a mix of True/False, Circle/Check the Appropriate Box, or Likert Scale (1-5) responses. The results were evaluated statistically and discussed. Results indicated Sworn Police Officers and Forensic Technicians have different on-duty stress levels, but similar off-duty stress levels. Nearly two-thirds of 54 job-related stressors were not significantly different between the two occupations. However, Forensic Technicians reported more adverse effects in 17 physical and psychological job-related activities compared with Sworn Police Officers. Forensic Technicians reported lower awareness levels and availability of agency mental health support services than were reported by Sworn Police Officers. This study reports for the first time an unexpected outcome that perceived and job-related psychological stress is greater for Forensic Technicians than Sworn Police Officers. Possible reasons for this disparity will be discussed as well as stress management tools that should be implemented to reduce health risk factors for both career professionals as well as increase public safety.

This article is a trending article in the field of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. The abstract above was written by the author(s) below. This study was conducted by the author(s) below and published in the journal or book below.

Authors: Selena McKay-Davis, Tharinia Robinson, Ismail M Sebetan, Paul Stein

Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences

Link 1: this article @ Pubmed

Link 2: this article @ Wiley Online Library

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