You do not have to work in the law enforcement field to understand the inherent dangers that come with the profession. Turn on any nightly news channel and you are bombarded with scenes of emergency personnel handling horrifying, emotionally draining and difficult calls for service. Over the last 21 years, I have had a front row seat to the depravity of what many see on law enforcement reality shows and can attest to the less than glamorous, and often gruesome situations, in which the men and women in public safety have come to recognize as “part of the job.” We train our new employees for these events, focus on handling them to the best of our ability and move on to the next call, because this is what we do.Unfortunately, most who enter a career in law enforcement are unaware of the toxic effects the profession can have on them physically, spiritually and emotionally.
In 2019, more than 68% of public safety professionals reported having lingering emotional issues following traumatic events they experienced in the course of the daily work. The result of prolonged effects have led to sleep problems, issues with emotional outbursts, withdrawing from friends and family, substance abuse issues, and suicide. In fact, for many law enforcement officers, the odds of being killed by themselves is three times higher than from a violent encounter on the street.