The Need for Law Enforcement Wellness Interventions: A Critical Review

Authors: Jason Williams, Vincent Ramsey

Corresponding Author:
Jason J. Williams MSBM
1 Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526
251-626-3303 x7151

Contributing Author:
Vincent K. Ramsey, Ph.D.
1 Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526
251-626-3303 x7154

Jason Williams is a Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the United States Sports Academy. His research interests include strength and conditioning for special populations, linear speed, and power development.

Dr. Vincent Ramsey is Chair of Sports Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy. Prior to his employment to the Academy, Dr. Ramsey spent 10 years as a lecturer at the University of North Georgia for the Department of Health and Physical Education and Recreation.

Police work is a paradox between two contrasting realities. One reality encompasses a sedentary environment comprised of long periods of sitting and inactivity. However, the other encompasses life and death situations often necessitating maximum intensity physical exertion. This unique environment along with other factors contribute to alarming health consequences including, but not limited to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health issues. Intervention programs involving physical fitness, nutrition counseling, general wellness, stress management, and drug and alcohol education have shown promise with combatting the health maladies common to law enforcement. This review explores some of those successes and offers recommendations for high level decision makers capable of instituting transformational change. Although a more holistic approach to wellness is optimal, the primary focus is of this review is given to strength and conditioning intervention. Police are the lifeblood of law and order, vital to the health of communities. Creating holistic and practical wellness programs that meet the needs of law enforcement agents is a social responsibility and critical for this essential member of society.