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Jul 6th, 2015
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Officer Stress week 3 discussion 2

The police work environment itself can and does have adverse effects on police officers. It creates stress, which may be defined as a force that is external in nature that causes both physical and emotional strain upon the body. The late Hans Selye, who is known as "the father of stress research," defined stress as a nonspecific response of a body to demands placed on it.  

To help officers deal with stress and its effects, a comprehensive wellness program is needed that should include five elements: (1) physical fitness, (2) stress management, (3) psychological and mental health, (4) nutrition and dietary-related behaviors, and (5) alcohol/chemical dependency.

Police agencies need a comprehensive wellness program to assist officers in coping with stress, but if that fails or is absent, an employee assistance program (EAP) should be available to help officers to cope with alcohol and substance abuse, psychological problems such as depression, or family management problems.

Read the Employee Assistance Program – The Police Notebook and address the following:

  • Why has the University of Oklahoma Police Department established an EAP, and how does the program work?
  • What portions of the EAP presented did you find particularly helpful? Why?  
  • What portions should be expanded? Why?
  • In your opinion, do you think either a comprehensive wellness program or an EAP helps with officer stress? Why or why not?

Peak, K. (2012). Policing America: Challenges and best practices (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education

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