One-Fifth of Police Often Angry, Frustrated, Survey Says

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Some 21 percent of police officers say their job nearly always or often makes them feel angry and frustrated, feelings that are linked to more negative views toward the public, says the Pew Research Center. These frequently angry, frustrated officers also are more likely than their colleagues to support more physical or aggressive policing methods, says a survey conducted last year by the National Police Research Platform of 7,917 sworn police and sheriff’s officers in 54 departments with at least 100 officers. Frustration is more prevalent than anger among police officers. About half of the officers surveyed say their work nearly always or often makes them feel frustrated, while 22 percent say they nearly always or often feel angry.

The survey finds that officers who frequently feel angry and frustrated by their job are twice as likely as all other police to say officers have reason to distrust most people. They are more likely than their colleagues to agree that some people can only be brought to reason the hard, physical way and to say they have become more callous toward people since taking the job. Angry and frustrated officers also are more likely to have physically struggled or fought with a suspect in the past month or to have been verbally abused by a citizen. Factors that are associated with being angry and frustrated cannot be said to have caused officers to feel this way.

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