Stressed Out?

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This is the first time that the Law Enforcement Certification program at CVTC is tackling the subject. They still go over the same stuff as before too: how to maneuver a sqaud car, fire a weapon, and deal with legal issues, but emotional health could just be the most important thing on the syllabus.

*CG 2line Officer Jack Corey

"It's been kind of a trap that law enforcement has fallen into over the years," said Officer Jack Corey of the Eau Claire Police Department.

"So the fact that it's being addressed, that's a very good thing."

It's when the little things that cause stress start to build up when officers can suffer the greatest harm, usually caused by excessive spending, gambling, drinking, or extra-marital affairs.

A vicious cyle can follow too. When you're in debt, you have to work more to earn more money, and that opens an officer up to a situation that's even more dangerous.

*CG 2line Erik Dunn
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*CG 2line Pastor James Schaefer

"You can never stop learning in this job, you've always gotta work on your communication skills-maybe you've got problems with something, you've always got to work on something," said Class President Erik Dunn.

"It's conciousness raising is what we called this in the 70's," said Pastor James Schaefer, who teaches the students.

"I'm under the impression that they're gonna make it a regular part of the curriculum."

The way the students are taught to deal with everyday stress is to exercise control in their lives whenever they can, mostly during their free time.

Balancing that can help the students balance out their priorites on the job, their instructors say.

Officers have known about this kind of danger for years, but it's been a tough sell because officers are typically thought to be impurvious to things like stress.