It is the invisible force that has the power to save or kill. It can make an agency grow or it can stifle an agency. It can provide or steal employees’ most valuable moments with family and friends. It is employees’ health status. Protecting and enhancing health is pivotal. In the March 2016 Police Chief, Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Kristi Samples and Rodney Murphy put it succinctly:
It is irresponsible to wait and react to an officer losing a physical confrontation because of his or her health or fitness. Instead, the profession and police leaders need to proactively encourage all officers and challenge them to succeed in all aspects of their job and lives.1
Overlooking health issues, particularly conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, can be as dangerous as overlooking stealthy criminals attacking the workforce. Undetected high blood pressure can lurk as an invisible thief of health, without a single symptom, until the victim has a heart attack. What can possibly be done about it?