Understanding and Mitigating the Effects of Stress on Law Enforcement

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Work- related stress can yield short and long-term effects on physical and mental health. Researchers estimate that companies in the United States lose approximately $300 billion annually because of work-stress related issues. Health care costs related to work-related stress are estimated to be $68 billion annually. Employees that experience work-related stress often suffer devastating psychological and physiological effects, such as high morbidity and mortality rates and rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicide higher than the national average. Although there are many stressful occupations in the United States, researchers identify and regard law enforcement as one of the most stressful occupations in the country. Recent research yields evidence that law enforcement officers experience adverse psychological and physiological conditions at higher rates than other occupations in the United States. The adverse psychological and physiological conditions include PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, and interpersonal violence. This course familiarizes each student with the concept of work related stress, the phenomenon’s effect on law enforcement, and how effective leadership within an organization can influence the amount of stress officers experience.  


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Dr. Damon Simmons has 21 years of experience in the criminal justice system. Dr. Simmons brings 17 years of instructional experience to the classroom, having taught at the professional and collegiate levels. He has served as a field training officer, gang investigator, school resource officer, TAC team member, child sexual predator investigator, registered sex offender investigator, a member of the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, a member of the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, and patrol supervisor during his 19-year career in law enforcement. Dr. Simmons has also worked as a juvenile corrections officer. Dr. Simmons holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Great Falls, a Master of Science Degree from the University of Phoenix, a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Criminal Justice from Walden University, a Certificate in Stress Management from the University of Central Florida, and a Stress Management Coach Certification from the Spencer Institute.