First person who says "Make that a dirt nap" I'm reporting. Probably the second, too.
A recent study
into sleeping disorders came up with some interesting data:
Researchers screened officers for sleeping disorders and found that 40% had at least one disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia.
Those with sleeping disorders were 51% more likely to fall asleep while driving, 63% more likely to violate safety protocols,
43% more likely to make administrative errors, and 22% more likely to be injured on the job,
compared to officers reporting no sleeping disorders.
People had more bad things to say, too, about police officers who happen to sleep poorly, with citizens filing 35% more complaints against those with sleeping disorders.
Nearly half of all police officers surveyed for the study reported having fallen asleep at least one time while driving, while one-quarter of all officers said that this happens once or twice a month.
Emphasis added by me. What interests me, and I hope they'll do more research into this, is how it compares to other high-risk jobs such as firefighters and EM Ts
. People in dangerous jobs like these, even though they're scheduled on shifts, are often expected to be "on-call" at any hour of the day, and as someone who regularly suffers from insomnia, getting woken up in the middle of the night to deal with an emergency means you are almost never at your best. The disregard for safety proceedures is what worries me the most, especially from a profession where being armed and expected to make good decisions about the use of deadly force is a basic requirement
. Based on their study numbers, we're talking about 1200 cops
- almost a quarter of the total involved in the study - who can't be trusted to follow safety procedures
. The higher rate of complaints aimed at those officers probably helps contribute to attitudes like our favorite local anarchist.
So, general tone for the discussion: sleep deprivation and its effects on dangerous jobs, mostly law enforcement.