Keeping the Beat Alive: An Argument for Annual Agency Funded Cardiac Screening for all Current and Honorably Retired Law Enforcement Officers




Thyssen, Jared

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Cardiovascular disease, to include instances of myocardial infarctions (more commonly known as a “Heart Attack”) has consistently been one of the leading causes of death. In 2017 alone, heart disease accounted for 165 per 100,000 deaths to the general public in the United States (Murphy, Xu, Kochanek & Arias, 2018). In both 2017 and 2016 heart disease was the leading cause of death in the United States (Murphy, Xu, Kochanek & Arias, 2018). While images in the public attempt to portray police officers as public servants who are frequently healthy and in tip top shape so they can execute their duties with the upmost precision, studies show that quite the opposite is true. Police officers frequently display higher rates of obesity, stress and cardiovascular disease to include hypertension and the experience of heart attacks when compared with the general public. Police officers also display a higher mortality rate earlier in life associated with complications from some of these disorders. Studies have argued that the rigors of police work could be to blame for these disparities. Because of the disparity between civilian and law enforcement officer mortality rates, law enforcement agencies should fully fund annual cardiac wellness screenings for all current and honorably retired officers in an effort to address these issues.



Police--Health and Hygiene