(This Op-Ed by yours truly appears in Florida Today newspaper, 1/27/18)
Studies vary, but most list police officer in the top five of the most stressful jobs in America, just behind firefighter and active duty military service.
Policing is not only stressful, officers are constantly in the spotlight where one error, one misjudgment, can land themselves as a defendant in court or, at worst, in a grave. There are few jobs in this country where employees wear bullet-proof vests. There are few jobs where employees must respond to calls where violent conflicts are in process. There are few jobs where employees are required to confront dangerous criminals. It’s their job to enter, not evade, the arenas of danger, violence and hate.
There is no other job that comes with all these components.
Meanwhile, officers must always remain professional, stoic, even robotic. They must do what the manual dictates, and look the other way when protesters spit in their face or scream profanities in their ear.
It ain’t easy folks.
Nearly 900,000 law enforcement officers in America are sworn to perform their duties, no matter the risk. Roughly 140 cops will die in the line of duty each year. That doesn’t …