Stress among Security Workforce

Security work is one of the most critical occupations in the world. The work requires total commitment and self sacrifice for those who choose that line of work. Many people criticize the decision of police officers incase they misuse their authority by using more force, mishandling of clients and evidence. Before criticizing them because of all that, one should first understand what they go through in their day to day lives. They undergo mental torture which results to stress which is their main challenge. The undercover police are mostly affected by stress because they work in secrets and thus putting their lives and of those they love in danger. The paper will discuss what the undercover police unit undergoes and its effect on their decision making and competence in their work.

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Stress among security workforce

             In any line of work, making decision responsibly is the most important thing. In this team of undercover team is very difficult to make responsible decision when they are under pressure of stress. Most of the officers in this team of undercover assume that one way of reducing their stress is by applying excessive force in their work. This causes incidents where they torture suspects beyond their authority. Stress causes lack of concentration in the workplace. This makes the officer to mishandle the evidence of a case or ignore important evidence found in the field. Lastly on impact of stress in discretion, undercover teams usually have lonely stress and they think that they are excluded by the society; this makes them to mishandle informants because they believe everybody is their enemy. Stress has great impact on the narcotic team (Armstrong, 1999a).

According to Balko (2013), narcotic team is under the undercover department; mostly it deals with drugs in a secret way. There are many incidents in this line of work that requires high level of discretion from the team members. This team is subject to many dangers because drug dealers are dangerous and by following them they put their lives in danger. Despite the dangers involved there are also temptations in this work. One of the areas that requires responsible decision making is handling or presenting the evidence to their seniors. This area is tempting because team members can involve themselves in corruption where they can request for a deal from the drug dealers for them to conceal the evidence. A deal can involve money because drug dealers are always rich. Another area that requires a good discretion is during the team operations. In order to crack drugs crisis the seizing of suspects is very important because they help to disclose their partners. The team must make a responsible decision on not to shot the suspects but to arrest them.

Addition of assignment to this team can have both positive and negative effects on members of the team. Addition of this assignment which is not their area of specialization can be of importance, this is because the assignment reduces the work monotony. The chief says that they drink a lot; this additional assignment can reduce their idol hours and thus reduce the consumption of alcohol. On the negative side of it, addition of assignment would reduce their free time. The team needs free time in order for them to balance their work and social life. By denying them that time their social life will rag behind and later it will affect their performance.

Microcosm of police agency has a good strategy which they use to insulate themselves from the community. Police agencies do not disclose their operations or internal affairs to the public. This helps them to carry out their operations in secret and thus the community can not interfere or question the agency. They do not also allow open questions from the public and they give them public what is necessary. This prevents the community from interfering or questioning their moves (Armstrong, 1999b). This is a general strategy for all police agency. However, when it comes to agencies like SWAT or the narcotics, they go a step father. In their case, their operations are disclosed to only those who are involved. They maintain their secrets in between them; they operate under high level of secrecy.

Overcoming the fight response leads to unnecessary heroic which poses danger to the team members. This is a problem caused by stress where the affected person does an action which brings danger to other members of the team. One member may decide to expose one of the secrets to the suspects by disclosing the undercover team, this action can cause a danger to the other members because they can by targeted by the suspects.

Police are nit different from other people and they have both social and profession lives. They find it difficult to manage the two and mostly when they are in stress (Danto, 1978). There are issues that arise in the process and the major one is in ability to handle family matters, they usually transfer their work stress to their families. Their spouses find it difficult to per savior that stress and thus they prefer divorce. Another issue that arises is that they are not able to handle their work well. This makes them to drink a lot which causes incompetence in their work.

The narcotic team is usually composed of people of different race, gender, and ethnic demographics. Those members introduces their culture in the unit, some cultures may not be pleasing to the other members of the group. This can lead to bias where the member with the unaccepted culture can be excluded. Some members can be biased in terms of race where they see a black person inferior. Gender is also another factor; the ideas from the female members can not be taken seriously because they are seen as inferior to men (Flatter, 1994).


             In conclusion, stress is one of the major factors that cause incompetence in the police unit. This is because their profession subjects them to stress more than any other thing. The incidents they experience and the environment in their place of work contributes a lot to this stress. Reforms should be done in the police units in order to create a good environment for the police, also a body should be formed which will be handling police issues.


Armstrong, D. (1999a, January/February). Stress of the job takes a terrible toll. American Police Beat, Vol.1, pp.34.

Armstrong, D. (1999b, March). When it comes to officer suicides, agencies look the other way.American Police Beat, Vol. 2, pp. 1, pp.22.

Balko, R. (2013). Rise of the warrior cop: The militarization of America’s police forces.

Danto, B. (1978). Police Suicide. In K. Ellison and J. Genz (ed.), Stress and the Police Officer, pp. 69. Springfield, Illinois: Thomas Books.

Flatter, L. (1994). Officer/spouse workshops: A prevention and intervention technique. Law Enforcement Families Issues and Answers, 1-4. Retrieved February 12, 1999 from Law Enforcement Online:

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