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For optimal performance, a person needs about 8 hours of restful slumber. However, the majority of law enforcement personnel sleep for fewer than 7 hours per night. (Dempsey, & Forst, 2013). This period of time adds up to several hours of lost slumber. Police officers frequently work overtime to fulfill other business obligations, which keeps them up even later. As recently seen in my precinct, such workers' performance can suffer from a lack of sleep. The officers in command of the night shift have been showing up to work exhausted, and there have been many reports of officers being caught sleeping while on duty. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt a strategy to avoid the adverse effects of inadequate sleep and the associated fatigue.
One way of encouraging the officers to get enough sleep is by restricting the time that they can work. Even though the policy is clear that the night shift starts at 11:00 pm to 7:00 am, some workers still find a reason to extend their shift. The most effective technique to combat this problem is by restricting their access to company resources upon completion of the shift. Also, the plan should offer flex time. Many officers have many obligations in their lives and may benefit from working on a flexible schedule. This strategy would not only boost the morale and productivity but will also help the employees think more clearly and work diligently.
As hard as it may be to eat properly on a night shift, officers should attempt to maintain a balanced diet, drink plenty of fluids and avoid junk food. In this regard, the police canteen would help supply the officers with small snacks and stimulating beverages every few hours to keep their energy consistent and help them stay awake. Research also suggests that high-protein meals can help boost alertness when reporting on duty ("Survival Tips for Nurses Working the Night Shift," 2014).
Lastly, sitting for long hours during the shift is neither healthy nor helpful in staying awake. According to research, any extended sitting increases the risk of various cardiovascular complications including chest pain and heart attack (Levine, 2015). Accordingly, taking a walk every hour would help stimulate the mind and body of the employee. Altogether, these tips constitute a comprehensive strategy that can be used to both motivate officers to stay awake during the night shift and become proactive police agents, which would translate to making more traffic stops and arrests.
Dempsey, J. S., & Forst, L. S. (2013). An introduction to policing. Cengage Learning.
Survival Tips for Nurses Working the Night Shift. (2014). EveryNurse.org. Retrieved 17 September 2017, from http://everynurse.org/survival-tips-nurses-working-night-shift/
Levine, J. (2015). What are the risks of sitting too much?. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 17 September 2017, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
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