Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Kishon C. Hickman, Sr., EdD

Second Supervisor

William Rolon, EdD


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the concepts of job stress, burnout, and perceived organizational support among 12 retired New York City Police Department (NYPD) police officers. The research questions examined: (a) the lived experiences as described by retired NYPD police officers in handling stress and occupational burnout; and (b) the coping strategies and mechanisms, including organizational support, that retired NYPD police officers utilized to deal with occupational stress.

Using semi-structured, in-depth interviews, the lived experiences of retired police officers, explicitly the challenges, stressors, and resilience in developing coping mechanisms, and the perceived support from their organizations, are all explored. After unprecedented events in America, tremendous strain has been placed on police officers, especially in New York City, where stress and burnout has, at times, reduced job satisfaction, impaired health, and perhaps decreased performance. The results of this qualitative research study revealed eight prominent themes: (a) communication, (b) experience, (c) physical health, (d) coworker/work support, (e) family support, (f) meditation/mental health, (g) personal time, and (h) training consistent with the literature review. While no significant influence was found between the officers’ lived experiences and their beliefs in the benefits of job-related interventions or job-sponsored programs, the findings did reveal that dealing proactively and effectively with stress increases job satisfaction, quality of life, and life expectancy.

Recommendations include replicating this research to explore the lived experiences, beliefs, and behaviors of officers by agency, gender, ethnicity, age, education, length of service, and other demographic factors as well as replicating this research in different areas of the United States, eventually including a much larger sample size of law enforcement officers. In addition, a quantitative study was recommended using surveys as the instruments for analysis. A large sample of retired law enforcement officers could be selected on either a national or regional basis. The survey could be designed to ask participants questions regarding demographics, experiences with stress, leadership, support, and the existence of stress intervention services in the workplace.

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