Objective: We examined symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) personnel who provided law enforcement and relief services to affected communities following Hurricane Katrina.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of mental health outcomes related to personal and work-related exposures of police personnel 8 weeks after the Hurricane.
Results: Of the 912 police personnel who completed the questionnaire, 227 (26%) reported symptoms consistent with depression and 170 (19%) reported symptoms consistent with PTSD. Risk factors associated with PTSD include recovery of bodies, crowd control, assault, and injury to a family member. Depressive symptoms were associated with rare family contact, uninhabitable home, isolation from the NOPD, assault, and injury to a family member.
Conclusions: Police personnel reported symptoms of PTSD and depression associated with work-related and personal factors following Hurricane Katrina.