Stress In Law Enforcement

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Stress is simply a part of life that affects everyone to one degree or another but law enforcement officers are subjected to an increased level of stress due to the demands of their profession. While the effects of stress on law enforcement was overlooked in the recent past it has now become a recognized part of maintaining an efficient and healthy workforce. Research has shown evidence of how unmanaged stress can lead to depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies have also shown that law enforcement officers also have a higher rate of cardiovascular events and suicide due in large part to the constant stress they are under. This has led law enforcement agencies to adopt strategies for helping their officers to deal with stress (Ronald, 2007).…show more content…
The biological response to stress begins when a problem, real or imagined, causes the cerebral cortex to send an alarm to the hypothalamus. When the hypothalamus receives this signal it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to make a series of changes within the body. These changes include an increase in breathing, heart rate, metabolism, muscle tension, and blood pressure. This is called the fight or flight response as blood is diverted to the larger muscles in the body priming it to respond to the threat. While these changes occur the adrenal glands start to secrete corticoids such as epinephrine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine which inhibit growth, reproduction, digestion, and tissue repair. This can have severe long term negative effects if left unchecked as important biological functions that act to keep an individual healthy begin to shut down (Whisenand&McCain,

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