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Work-Related Violence, Debriefing and Increased Alcohol Consumption Among Police Officers

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 13 Issue: 2 Dated: Summer 2011 Pages: 149-157
Tuula Leino; Kaisa Eskelinen; Heikki Summala; Marianna Virtanen
Date Published
9 pages
This study examined the problem of increased alcohol consumption due to work-related violence among a group of Finnish police officers.
This study examined the associations between increased alcohol consumption and work-related violence among police officers. Data consisted of a representative sample of Finnish police officers (N = 1,734), who responded anonymously to a postal questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analyses were used to calculate the odds ratios and their 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) for increased alcohol consumption. Five percent of the study group rated that they had increased their alcohol consumption due to violence. The odds ratios of the increase were 6.96 (95 percent CI = 2.08-23.25) for lack of debriefing, 2.18 (95 percent CI = 1.26-3.78) for shortage of patrol personnel, and 1.71 (95 percent CI = 1.11-2.62) for lack of training to handle violent situations. Conclusions: those who lacked debriefing, patrol personnel, and training to handle violent situations all seem to increase their alcohol use due to violence. Increased alcohol consumption may reflect attempts to cope with some intolerable emotions or situations originating from violent encounters in their work. (Published Abstract)