How does poor sleep factor into law enforcement on-the-job performance?

police-officer-on-night-shiftThose who've chosen to give their lives over to the important motto, "To protect and to serve," may need to rethink their strategies when it comes to protecting their own health. This includes getting adequate sleep, which can directly impact their ability to live up this motto in numerous ways.


  • did not mince words when it posted”Graveyard Fatigue Can Kill You on January 3, 2017. This succinct article highlights the realities of police officers working the night beat and should be a must-read for law enforcement personnel at every level.
  • Also to address the topic was in their article, “How lack of sleep may cause deadly police errors: A recent study examined fatigue’s effects on 53 officers’ decision-making and reaction times when the officers were faced with deadly-force situations,” which appeared August 9, 2014.
  • The National Institute of Justice published this excellent document back in 2009, with findings that are still relevant today and which should spawn further research if they haven’t already.
    • Of special interest: “All of us experience the everyday stress associated with family life, health and finances. Most of us also feel work-related stress associated with bad supervisors, long commutes, inadequate equipment and difficult assignments. But police and corrections officers must also deal with the stresses of working shifts, witnessing or experiencing trauma, and managing dangerous confrontations.




How police officers engage with civilians is an ongoing discussion highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement and other race-focused initiatives striving to reform law enforcement procedures and protocols to prevent bias and profiling on the job. While this is a robust and necessary discussion, might race be only part of the dilemma?

About Tamara Kaye Sellman (621 Articles)

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  1. #ICYMI: Sleep deprivation in the work force – SleepyHead CENTRAL

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