There is no doubt that policing is an extremely dangerous job. Policemen are regularly involved in perilous situations that might result in the deaths of the persons they are trying to serve, the deaths of the persons they are trying to stop or even the loss of their own lives. However recent research is now highlighting the fact that the inherent dangers associated with the job do not solely lurk out in the streets.
John Violanti, Ph.D., a research associate professor at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, is leading an experiment to study the correlation between the stress of being a police officer and the occupation’s psychological and health related outcomes. The assumption that the exposure to death, the exposure to human suffering and the high demands experienced by police officers in the line of duty contribute to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic ailments prompted the initiation of the five year experiment known as the buffalo cardio- metabolic occupational police stress (BCOPS) study. Dr. Violanti insists that this is the first police population based research to test such an association. Continue reading