Give the police a nap:

Total posts: [20]
1 BlueNinja021st Dec 2011 12:55:37 PM from Lost in a desert oasis , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Chronically Sleep Deprived
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.
TBH, his ego doesn't need more stroking. Nor does any other part of him. - M84
2 AceofSpades21st Dec 2011 01:02:09 PM , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Given what I've learned of sleeping disorders in general, I am not in the least surprised by this. Messing with a person's sleep schedule is one of the sure fire ways to fuck a person up. The problem with a high risk job like a police officer, however, is that yes, you generally are expected to always be on call. There's simply not enough people to go around for this kind of dangerous occupation to not use every available body.

I would recommend that people get interviewed a bit more often to see what their sleep schedule is like, and give them sick/off days based on that.
3 USAF71321st Dec 2011 01:04:53 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
My friend's dad is a cop, and he concurs that the hours are a bitch. :/
I am now known as Flyboy.
^ On that, are the hours shit because if they don't work them they don't get enough money?
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up][up] But you can't use every available body all the time, or you eventually run outta bodies.

edited 21st Dec '11 2:20:31 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
6 USAF71321st Dec 2011 02:27:16 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.

I dunno. I know he works third shift, though, last I checked, and as a patrol cop to boot. So, he goes to work at like 4 in the afternoon and comes back sometime early, early in the next morning.

Also, yeah, you wouldn't want more bodies working all the time. What we need to do is get rid of stupid laws and the War on Drugs and such and reduce the overall burden on the police. I don't give a damn about the druggies and stoners, give me the murderers and rapists.

edited 21st Dec '11 2:27:51 PM by USAF713

I am now known as Flyboy.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Basic order (enforcement on complaint, an essentially reactive police force) can be managed without much people at all: It's actively enforcing countless laws against victimless crimes that requires effort.

Get rid of the stuff the thugs in blue do proactively and see the needed hours (and the stress, and the brutality complaints) plummet.

edited 21st Dec '11 2:32:55 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
8 USAF71321st Dec 2011 02:33:00 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
I can't think of much in the way of victimless crimes except for the drug laws and prostitution laws...

Unless you're counting traffic violations. In which case meh. Having been through driver's ed now, I think many of those are just people bitching because they have no concept of how what they do really is that unsafe.
I am now known as Flyboy.
9 Fighteer21st Dec 2011 02:42:53 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Those last two and a half posts are off topic for this thread. In fact, I'm wondering if there's anything to discuss besides "police don't get enough sleep and fuck up as a result."

edited 21st Dec '11 2:43:11 PM by Fighteer

[up][up] People in general are pretty bad at self-assessment. (Thinking one is the exception proves the point tongue)

Re: Sleep deprivation. This is pretty much the same for everyone. They've done studies among teenagers and found them to be systematically getting too little sleep. Then there's the people who don't do well outside the typical 9-5 schedule, and then there's those that don't do well inside it.

I think the only solution is to make the schedule(s) fit the people, rather than the other way 'round. Not a possibility for every job, however.
I've always thought the power structure and organisation of policing entities to be inherently difficult. You want to pay them well so they don't take bribes. You want them to work optimal number of hours (which is around 40) to be always at peak efficiency. You want them to carry out the law but at the same time not abuse their authority. You want them to be intelligent so they aren't screwing people over for nothing.

But for the topic of naps, I think I've seen studies that almost all industries benefit from giving people an afternoon break.

edited 21st Dec '11 7:12:18 PM by breadloaf

12 Gabrael21st Dec 2011 07:37:14 PM from My musings , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
Police officers are often not paid at all what the work load is. Even if you have say an 8 hour patrol shift, you have mounds of paperwork to try and assemble, copy, and turn in. My dad is a police officer. The hours have plagued his health. He also had to work part time jobs in security in order to compensate for the low pay.

The biggest problem is when cities are low on money, they normally fire or don't hire on new emergency personnel, causing a strain on those who are already there. Getting medical leave to attend to injuries and sickness properly also adds to this dilemma.

On a related note, listening to NPR today there was a proposal of legislation that would regulate airline pilots like they do truckers, ensuring no pilot would fly over 14 hours and had to have 8 hours of sleep previous to flying.

Should there be legislation proposed to protect the sleep of police officers as well?
"Psssh. Even if you could catch a miracle on a picture any person would probably delete it to make space for more porn." - Aszur
13 Barkey22nd Dec 2011 12:25:22 AM from Bunker 051 , Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Well, part of the problem is that Law Enforcement is a job that is based on needs of the mission, not on what is available.

Because of chronic understaffing issues, overtime is a key element in Law Enforcement. There is almost always overtime available for those who are willing to do it, so it is not uncommon to find cops pulling double shifts, sleeping a few hours, and then pulling another double.

The problem is not pre-existing sleep disorders, it is an inherent culture of shitty hours that get switched around often, and available overtime due to understaffing as well as stressors that come with the job which follow officers home.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
14 Gabrael22nd Dec 2011 06:49:02 AM from My musings , Relationship Status: Is that a kind of food?
[up] amen to that...
"Psssh. Even if you could catch a miracle on a picture any person would probably delete it to make space for more porn." - Aszur
Unfortunately, crime doesn't sleep...
16 BlixtySlycat22nd Dec 2011 12:05:54 PM from Driving the Rad Hazard
|like a boss|
So then let them take a nap. BUT ZEN FIRE ZE MISSILES TASERS.
go ahead and do every stupid thing you can imagine
Well police officers near me get paid much better and have much better equipment, so I think it is less of a problem though of course not eliminated (just reduced). Unfortunately, given the limited tax funding for city cops and especially for the most routine stuff (beat cop duty), the problem is just going to be there for quite some time.
Reminds you of how much cops sacrifice. Horrible hours, bad pay, sometimes dangerous, and sleep issues.

I wish there were another way around it.
Treat the disease, rather than the symptoms, I guess? More cops would help, but that wouldn't really stop crime. Someone on another thread talked about ending the War on Drugs mostly by just legalizing drugs, which definitely isn't a perfect solution, but its something to think about.
Well yeah, in largely middle class neighbourhoods there's few gang/drug/alcohol problems and thus the cops have much less to deal with. They're more likely to have to do detective work for the crimes that do happen in middle class places.

If we were able to reduce poverty, then it is that much less work for cops. So I suppose it ends up being that if your economic policy is shoddy then everything else has to pay extra to make up for it.
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Total posts: 20