Dying for the Job: Police Work Exposure and Health
When one thinks of police work, the immediate danger of this occupation comes to mind the everyday threat of violence, death, and witnessing traumatic events in their work. Less noted however is the physical and psychological danger associated with police work, including harmful environmental exposure, stress and trauma. Based on research, the adverse health and psychological consequences of this occupation far outweigh the dangers of the street. The primary purpose of this book is therefore to focus on these less known, less talked about dangers in policing. The mental well-being, health, and average life span of police officers appear to be affected by these factors. Hence, the title dying for the job reflects not so much the danger on the street but the hidden health dangers associated with policing. Many of the researchers who contributed to this book are epidemiologists and biostatisticians who are part of a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) CDC five-year research study on police health titled BCOPS the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress study. Still other contributors are experts in cancer, cardiovascular disease and psychological trauma. Recent events such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Sandy Hook school tragedy, and the Boston Marathon bombings emphasize the need to have a vibrant, healthy police force. It is necessary to maintain a high level of reliability by initiating health and stress prevention efforts. Chapters include: an examination of harmful physical work exposures; health disparities among police officers; cardiovascular risk in law enforcement; risk of cancer incidence and mortality among police officers; shift work and health consequences in policing; stressors and associated health effects for women police officers; suicide; post-traumatic stress disorder; resilience in policing; and PTSD symptoms, psychobiology, and coexisting disorders in police officers. Both law enforcement practitioners and administrators alike will benefit from reading this book.
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