Being a police officer is a stressful job, even in quaint foothill towns like Grass Valley. How officers handle the stress of the job and and family varies. Grass Valley Police Chief, John Foster, says the image of a law enforcement is often negative because of the nature of the work.
Police officers are exposed to abnormal situations more than most other professionals.
Chief Foster says that dealing with stress is imperative to an officers success on the street and at home.
Stress manifests itself differently with different people and can lead to some harmful behavior.
Foster emphasizes balance is key to an officers mental and physical health.
Sometimes additional resources are needed to help an officer deal with issues. Recently Chief Foster brought in a specialist to help officers and family members cope with stress.
The one day program was well received by officers and family members.
The chief hopes to have additional workshops available on a regular basis. Foster says that along with regular support, sometimes the department will hold special sessions if a major event occurs. Often times a shift is pulled in to debrief a incident and allow officers to talk it through.
Foster says that a balance of physical fitness, family time, friends away from the job, and the need to not take the job home at the end of the shift are important variables to stress management.