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This entry defines police officer stress and describes its consequences, origins, and the individual and organizational methods to control it. Controlling stress can enhance the delivery of police services and guide officers toward healthy lifestyles. One definition of stress is the wear and tear our bodies and minds experience as we react to physiological, psychological, and environmental changes throughout our lives. It is a nonspecific response of the body to a demand for change. Its centerpiece is the relationship between an external event and an internal response: For every action, there's a reaction.

Stress is fundamental to life, but its consequences are experienced differently. When, for example, Hurricane Katrina set down in August 2005, each of us reacted differently to it. Such reactions depend on many ...

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