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Public Policy and Administration


Jessie Lee


Police officers endure various threats ranging from verbal abuse to physical attacks, which can escalate and lead to police officer stress. Despite the abundant research exploring the relationship between high-stress occupations and environmental health, adequate exploration of the relationship between officer stress and hot spot policing (HSP; area with an above-average level of crime) has yet to occur. The purpose of this correlational study was to use Cohen and McKay's conceptualization of the stress-buffering hypothesis to explore whether HSP mitigates the negative impact of job stress, leading to improved officer performance and ultimately improved relationships between the police and communities as well as lower crime rates. Posting of a SurveyMonkey link in law enforcement only, social-media communities (with administrator permission) facilitated data collection for the 151 respondents. Findings indicated that the overall regression model was significant; however, the simple correlation between HSP and officer stress (.118) indicated that HSP alone does not account for unique variance (there was a value of .014 or 1.4% of the variation in officer stress). The social change implications of this study include recommendations to police department administrations to continue to explore efforts to reduce officer stress, which could lead to improved officer performance and police and community relationships.

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