October 8, 2011
The daily operations of policing today are ever changing. These changes manifest in correlation to the changing needs of the officer, community and technology. The job of the police officer is without a doubt one of the most dangerous, stressful jobs in existence. The danger and stress on officers impacts the overall operation of agencies. Police are the face of the agency; how they act or react defines the operation. The fight against crime will always exist; the way in which agencies operate will always change in an effort to stay one step ahead of the criminal.
The dangers in policing are apparent. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day they wear the uniform. Routine traffic stops can become shoot outs, domestic calls become hostage situations, a fleeing felon is chased at high speeds; these dangers are apparent, the dangers that are not so apparent can be even deadlier. According to "The Hidden Dangers Of Policing" (n.d.), the stress that men and women of law enforcement are under daily is proving to be a silent killer among officers. The high stress nature of policing can be responsible for a multitude of health issues; high blood pressure, insomnia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide. Officers are required to make split second, life altering decisions, while remaining under the watchful eye of the public and media. The enormous amount of pressure this adds to the officer can sometimes prove to be the ultimate danger to them. There is no training or protocol or instruction manual on managing the silent killer brewing inside them. Add to this deadly mix changing schedules, long shifts and basic life management, with no time to eat or exercise properly and a ticking time bomb is created. The stressful nature of policing is rapidly becoming the most dangerous aspect of the job. Proper training in life skills and stress management is imperative... [continues]
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