Managing law enforcement stress through emotional intelligence
By Mark Bond, professor of criminal justice at American Military University
Law enforcement emotional intelligence is defined as the ability of the officer to manage and use his/her emotions in a positive and constructive way, and to manage healthy relationships within the department and within other supporting agencies in the criminal justice system (Allam, 2011; Dumbrava, 2011).
Officers who have a functionally high emotional intelligence level have higher satisfaction rates and better career success within their departments (Allam, 2011; Dumbrava, 2011). Workers who have the ability to build healthy workplace relationships have reported lower stress levels at work and healthier off-duty activities that bring balance to their lives (Allam, 2011; Dumbrava, 2011).
The main reason behind the higher job satisfaction is the officer’s ability to build relationships within the department. Higher levels of emotional intelligence means they often have a positive approach to conflict resolution with others (Allam, 2011; Dumbrava, 2011). Dr. Zafrul Allam (2011) noted emotional intelligence as having five distinct qualities.
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