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Combating stress in police work and preventing crime, terrorism, and war
by John Theobald, M.S., with David Leffler, Ph.D.

The Mangalorean - India    Translate This Article
30 September 2011

On 30 September 2011 The Mangalorean - India reported: John Theobald, a former officer in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), describes high levels of stress in police work, manifesting in high rates of divorce, alcohol abuse, and suicide. Researching stress-reduction methods, he found that ''the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program appeared to be the best approach because it was widely available, could be practiced anywhere at any time, and had unparalleled success at addressing these personal problems faced by police. . . . Shortly after learning the TM technique, I noticed the marked reduction in my own stress levels.'' It is a joy for Global Good News service to feature this news, which indicates the success of the life-supporting programmes Maharishi has designed to bring fulfilment to the field of government.

Mr Theobald decided to make this opportunity available to students in a college program in criminal justice he had started, through the New York Institute of Technology. ''It was only later, when many police officers were practicing the TM® technique, that I fully realized how beneficial it truly was,'' he writes.

He arranged to teach any police officers in ten metropolitan counties who wanted to learn the Transcendental Meditation® program. ''Word spread to their associates and about 6,000 police officers learned to meditate.

''Feedback from students was received for many years, both in the college program and, in some cases, years later, by individual police officers who said they were 'still TM-ing.' Comments from students consistently indicated overwhelmingly positive results,'' including ''feeling more aware, especially in life-threatening situations.''

''Police officers must be able to function in the present moment on a daily basis,'' Mr Theobold explains. ''Effective police work depends on what's thought of as 'street sense' or intuition. . . . they must not overreact to situations. The TM technique removes deeply rooted fatigue and stress. The nervous system is strengthened and calmed. The mind no longer overreacts to old memories, which no longer have the same stressful influence. TM practice helps police officers survive these situations. They remain calm yet vigilant on the job.''

Gaining a Competitive and Strategic Edge on the Beat

A large section of the comprehensive article in The Mangalorean is devoted to scientific research on Transcendental Meditation, especially studies relevant to police work.

Research shows that the technique could help ''police officers gain a competitive and strategic edge on the beat,'' write Mr Theobald and co-author Dr David Leffler,* referring to studies showing:

∙ improved speed, agility, reactions, coordination, endurance, and perception;
∙ significantly increased field independence
''—in other words, police officers can maintain a sense of the whole situation, while focusing in on a critical aspect of it, without being distracted.''

The authors also note findings of:

∙ improved memory and learning ability, increased creativity, greater autonomic stability and neurological efficiency, faster reaction time
∙ improved self-confidence, increased self-reliance, and greater inner control.
∙ more rapid physiological recovery from a stressful stimulus
∙ reduced cardiovascular risk factors
∙ significant reductions in substance abuse, such as tobacco, alcohol, and all types of illegal and prescribed drugs.

Special attention is given to an article published two years ago in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin** about the potential benefits of the Transcendental Meditation program for those in law enforcement. In the article, entitled ''Brain Functioning as the Ground for Spiritual Experiences and Ethical Behavior'', Dr. Frederick Travis, Director, Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition, concluded that his ''research has indicated that practice of the TM technique leads to increased frontal brain integration, faster habituation to stressful stimuli, and higher moral reasoning.''

Global Good News will continue to feature the article in The Mangalorean,*** which goes on to consider topics including:

∙ Would police officers be willing to practice TM?
∙ Could such impressive results be obtained with other types of meditation?
∙ Police and military are now using Transcendental Meditation to prevent crime, terrorism, and war
∙ ''Prevention Wings'' of the police and military

* John Theobald, M.S., former N.Y.P.D. officer and former professor of Criminal Justice at the New York Institute of Technology; David Leffler, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS).

** Travis, F. (2009). Brain functioning as the ground for spiritual experiences and ethical behavior. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 78(5), 26-32.

*** The article has also been published in The Seoul Times, The World News: The International News Magazine,,, (Somalia), (Ethiopia), and Op Ed News.

© Copyright 2011

Every day Global Good News documents the rise of a better quality of life dawning in the world and highlights the need for introducing Natural Law based—Total Knowledge based—programmes to bring the support of Nature to every individual, raise the quality of life of every society, and create a lasting state of world peace.

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