The article examines the psychological background and risks of professional burnout of the employees of the National Police of Ukraine. The problem of police officers’ burnout syndrome occurrence is analyzed on the basis of foreign and post-soviet studies that were conducted over the last 25 years.
The relevance of the chosen topic is justified by the fact that the profession of a police officer is characterized by the environment affecting negatively a person’s psychological health when burnout can appear and develop due to the significant influence of a whole set of stressful factors.
By analyzing the empirical data presented in the scientific literature, the author has noted that the mental burnout of law enforcement officers is manifested in significant changes of their individual and personal qualities because of fulfillment of their professional law enforcement work. The law enforcement officers influenced by negative emotions (both in relationships in their team and in relation to relatives, citizens, victims, or criminals) and significant psychological overload associated with stress during law enforcement activities are mostly at risk of professional burnout development.
The foreign literature stresses that the mental burnout of a law enforcement officer appears under a set of stress factors specific to this job (threat to life and health, scenes of violence, constant danger, crime and uncertainty), requirements for work (short terms of work completion, shifts and overtime work, extreme and crisis situations), and lack of resources (inadequate equipment, poor supervision, inadequate salary, lack of recognition and inadequate number of staff).
The post-soviet researchers insist that the mental burnout reasons stipulated by the specific nature of law enforcement are: detailed legal regulation of the job; powers of authority over citizens; professional corporate identity; increased responsibility for the work results; mental and physical overload; extreme situations; organizational reasons; the need to be in touch with offenders in the course of their job; lack of proper psychological support for the police officers.
The discrepancy between the backgrounds for the emergence of professional burnout in foreign and post-soviet policemen is manifested at the intersection of operational and organizational stress factors that affects human mental health.
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