Policing is among the most dangerous jobs in the world. Due to high pressure in law enforcement field, police officers are exposed to threats which include insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), increased levels of destructive stress hormones leading to mental disorder, suicide thoughts and blood pressure. Researcher from a University situated in Buffalo did a research evaluating stress in policing and how officers are at risk of both mental and physical health hazard. Experimental examination included questionnaires on life style and psychological factors such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, measurement of bone density, branchial ultrasound and carotid arteries ultrasound, salivary cortisol samples and blood samples. In measuring the quality and quantity of sleep, police officers were given a small electronic gadget which they wore throughout their shift (University at Buffalo, 2008).
Results from Violanti pilot study show officers over the age of 40 had a high risk of coronary event as compared to usual national standards. About 72% of policewomen and 43% of policemen had higher levels of cholesterol than required. Generally, all officers had high than average pulse and diastolic blood pressure. Violanti a 23 year veteran of the New York Police Department commented on stress in policing and said that policing is psychologically stressful work environment filled with danger, high demands ambiguity in work encounter human miserly and exposure to death. In shift pilot study 115 randomly selected officers showed that suicidal thoughts were high in women working day shift and in men working night shift. Twenty-three percent male and 25 percent policewomen reported to have more suicidal thoughts than the general population. According to the article, intervention is necessary to help officers deal with stress in policing , occupation and education on dealing with things experienced in the line of duty (University at Buffalo, 2008).
University at Buffalo. (2008, September 29). Impact of stress on police officers’ physical and mental health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080926105029.htm>