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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
New Jersey's Cop 2 Cop Program
Article Type: Policing on the web From: Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, Volume 34, Issue 1
Every occupation has its share of stressors. The field of law enforcement is no exception. Some of the stressors experienced by police officers are experienced by those in other fields. Other sources of stress—such as the constant threat of danger as well as real physical danger—are unique to the field of policing and a small number of other similar fields. The effects of occupational stress have been linked to everything from the development of relatively minor physical health conditions to an increased risk of developing long-term psychological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and even suicide.
Several organizations and programs have been developed to assist police officers and their families in dealing with issues related to occupational stress. One of the first such programs in the country is New Jersey’s Cop 2 Cop Program created in 1998 in response to legislation mandating the creation of “law enforcement officer crisis intervention services hotline” (Cop2Cop, 2010). The hotline, which is staffed by peer counselors who are retired police officers licensed as clinical social workers, offers peer counseling services for a wide array of issues related to police stress.
While the Cop 2 Cop Program offers its services exclusively to New Jersey police officers and their families, the program’s web site (http://ubhc.umdnj.edu/cop2cop/main.htm) offers many useful resources and serves as an excellent example of the types of programs that can be developed to assist with the occupational stress police officers experience. Among the useful resources offered by the Cop 2 Cop Program’s web site are statistics related to police stress and police suicide; a self-assessment tool for examining one’s own level of stress; a yearly newsletter concerning police stress; and an extensive list of resources addressing the issue of occupational stress.
Whether one is a police officer in New Jersey feeling the effects of police stress, a law enforcement officer looking for a stress and crisis intervention program to serve as a model for a similar program in his/her jurisdiction or merely someone interested in the field of police stress, the web site for New Jersey’s Cop 2 Cop Program is definitely worth visiting.
Cop 2 Cop Program web site, 2010, available at: http://ubhc.umdnj.edu/cop2cop/main.htm
J.W. Carter IICollege of Mount St Joseph, Cincinnati, OH