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Stress... Killer or Protector of Law Enforcement Personnel? By Joseph M. Stromsness February 1998 Stress is a term used by many, is somewhat misunderstood, and often used to describe a negative condition or emotional state. People experience various forms of stress at home, work, in social settings, and when engaged in activities to simply have fun, such as playing sports. Police officer's experience stresses the same as others, but also in ways much different than the …

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…Everyone experiences stress. As any stress counselor would explain, a certain degree of stress is essential to a healthy, productive life. However, when stress impairs an individual's ability to function properly, the sources of that stress must be eliminated or reduced. The bottom line is that police officers cannot afford to let stress get out of hand. Their lives, the lives of other officers and citizens depend on the ability to effectively respond under duress.