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Francis Walsh

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Education: BA degree in Sociology and Police Studies (double major)

Supervisor: Dr. Scott Kenney

Thesis Title: The Enemy Within: Analyzing the Consequences of Stress on Police Health and Performance

Research Description: Policing is commonly regarded as one of the most dangerous professions in the world. Each and every day officers face the dark sides of society in order to control crime and keep the peace. Police officers are also tasked with controlling the public, investigating crime scenes, protecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and questioning suspects. On top of this, officers are required to be good psychologists for victims, model citizens for the public, and be able to make sound moral and ethical decisions on a consistent basis. Therefore being a police officer can be rewarding, but it can also be mentally taxing and stressful. When stress is left untreated it can lead to a number of debilitating and impairing disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, insomnia, and cardiovascular diseases. Stress also has the potential to influence performance to some degree, such as limiting an officer's ability to concentrate and use discretion. This is an important issue because not only does it affect police officers, but it also compromises the safety and well-being of citizens. Therefore, I am interested in potential consequences of stress on police health and performance.

Research Interests: Police Officer Stress, Stress Management, Criminology