Cooperation between police and rescue services
Care concepts
Compared to many other professions, police officers are exposed to high levels of physical and psychological stress
IM Artikel Betreuungskonzepte

Police officers are exposed to high levels of physical and psychological stress compared to many other professions. Some of these stresses increase over time, e.g. due to rotating shifts or when dealing with child pornography or death investigations.

Others hit officers unexpectedly when a supposedly routine operation develops into an explosive situation and decisions have to be made quickly, often with serious consequences for everyone involved.

These include conversations with people who want to commit suicide, the delivery of death messages, the use of firearms, attacks that may result in serious injuries, the death of colleagues on duty, traumatizing experiences such as the discovery of dead bodies and serious traffic accidents with fatalities. All of this can put a considerable strain on the physical and mental health of police officers.

Help whenever it is needed
Competent help and care is needed after particularly stressful deployments. The North Rhine-Westphalia police therefore offers its police officers ad hoc support around the clock: A team of police doctors, psychologists and experienced police officers is on hand to provide initial medical-psychological support for post-traumatic stress disorders.

Employees who work in areas that are particularly psychologically stressful in the long term, e.g. when investigating sexual offenses and homicides, receive support services such as supervision and coaching.

There are 230 social contact persons working in the North Rhine-Westphalia police force. These are employees from a wide range of work areas and hierarchical levels who enjoy a high level of social acceptance. They are trained in dealing with psychosocial behavioral problems.

In addition, police chaplains offer their special help before, during and after police operations, but also as part of daily duty hours, in the form of individual and group discussions, support and care.


Social contact: A portrait of Stephanie Schmidt

4:20 min IM NRW

Stephanie Schmidt is a police chief inspector. As a social contact at Bochum police headquarters, she helps her colleagues to help themselves - and speaks from her own experience. In the video, she explains why she decided to become a social contact person (SAP) and what drives her.

Translated with (API Version)
In urgent cases: Police emergency number 110