Friday, April 13, 2012

Injuries on the Job

Most of us in Criminal Justice classes around the country are here to become Police Officers, there is something about the field of Criminal Justice that inspires us and we want to enter this line of work.  I am told by people that care for me very much about how they really do not want me to become a Police Officer for the fear of me being injured severely or even possibly killed.  These are the risks of getting into the culture of policing and we have to be sure this is what we really want to do.  We are going to be dealing with society's garbage in this job and we have to try and maintain ourselves physically and mentally in order to do this job right.  So I did some research about injuries on the job and death on the job after coming across an article on Yahoo news about a police Chief killed in the line of duty 8 days before retirement.  I know that it sounds like a  bad joke from a terrible movie like Beverly Hills Cop, but its the reality and nature of the field that most of us will be trying to enter.  The link to the article on the shooting death of Michael Maloney can be found here:

As Law Enforcement Officers we will be entering a world like no other in America, and as such there are going to be hazards that just come with the job.  So the Department of Justice did research on the most common types of injuries associated with the job of being a Law Enforcement Officer.  The most common  injury to an officer is on their hands with it being 12% of the injuries, which means open wounds or a laceration from most of the time being bitten by an offender.  The back is another common injury taking up 11% of the most common injuries to police officers, most commonly muscle and tendon strains which comes from being assaulted by a person who they are trying to arrest.  The knee is the next taking up 9% of the injuries to an officer which comes from chasing suspects, falling out of the car, tripping, arresting suspects that are physically resistant, and training.  Psychological which takes up 6% of the most common injuries to an officer; which is just exposure to a traumatic event such as violence and other situations that you may encounter in the field.  Injury to the shoulder is also 6% of the total injuries to an Officer in the field.  This is commonly associated with restraining people, training, and handcuffing a suspect in a crowd control situation.  The neck takes up 5% of the injuries with most commonly being associated with vehicular accidents.  The ankle takes up 5% if injuries and this is commonly associated with falling out of vehicles, training, and chasing suspects.  The face which I figured would have been higher on this list because that is where a lot of people aim for in a physical confrontation in order to take knock the person out.  But this is only 5% of the main injuries to an officer, which comes from being assaulted while trying to arrest a suspect.  The last form of injury to an officer which takes up 4% of the total  is injury to the chest, which is involes contusions, bruising, and superficial crushing, and happens mostly when trying to arrest a person and they are resisting.     

Even though we are not there yet, we have to keep scenarios like Michael Maloney's incident in our mind because things in this line of work happen in an instant.  Most police officers go their entire career without ever even pulling out their weapon.  There are injuries to this job and most Criminal Justice related work whether is be physical or mental.  I hope that nothing like this ever happens to anyone in this class or anyone I know in the field but, this line of work has its ups and down that we all must be aware of.

Andrew Serena

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