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Criminal Justice Professor Publishes Book on Effects of Shift Length

Morristown, N.J. (January 22, 2018) – Dr. Jim Ford, an associate criminal justice professor at CSE, spent 26 years working as a police officer for the Chatham Township Police Department. During this time, he was assigned several different shifts with a variety of odd hours. Concerned for the welfare of himself and fellow officers, Ford began to research the effect of shift length on health, job satisfaction and domestic issues. He recently published his findings in a book titled, "Shift Work & Criminal Justice Professionals."

"I set out to prove that working an 8-hour shift was better than a 12-hour shift," admits Ford, who exclusively interviewed law enforcement officers who had worked both. "Instead, I found that there is no significant difference between working an 8 or 12-hour shift in regards to job satisfaction, health or domestic issues."

To collect this data, Ford repurposed the Standard Shiftwork Index (SSI), which is a battery of questions designed to evaluate the psychological and physiological impact of shiftwork. He then sent the SSI to all law enforcement agencies in Morris County and analyzed the results.

Informally, Ford mentioned one potential drawback to a 12-hour shift: a loss of comradery.

"When you're only working an 8-hour shift, it's nice to go out with other officers after a tough call," says Ford. He explained that the practice of decompression and analyzation is called Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. "But after working 12 hours, you just want to go home and don't get that opportunity to de-stress."

However, Ford is cautious about his study promoting any particular shift.

"This does not tell anybody which shift is best to work," warns Ford. "It's up to you and your agency. This study just examines the pros and cons of each shift."

Buy Ford's book here:

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