Dead tired: Fighting fatal fatigue in law enforcement

What the research shows about how sleep loss impacts police performance and officer safety

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When it comes to police officers and sleep there is one certainty – cops are not getting enough shut-eye. But did you know that moderate sleep deprivation produces impairments equivalent to those of alcohol intoxication?

With mandatory overtime, court appearances and in-service training all taking a toll on the time available for officers to actually sleep, what can cops and their supervisors to do ensure sleep deprivation doesn’t result in fatal errors?

In this episode, host Jim Dudley chats with Dr. Stephen James, an assistant research professor at Washington State University about his work relating to the interaction between physical stressors, such as sleep-related fatigue, and police performance.

Dr. James is currently recruiting patrol officers to participate in a 12-week research study on fatigue management. Click here to learn more. For more information about his law enforcement-related research, visit

What sleep-related issues do you find most challenging? Email

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