Breaking the Silence of Police Suicide

Breaking the Silence of Police Suicide
by Trish Buchanan

Please take five minutes of your time to consider, and then do something to stop police officer suicides in 5 easy steps.

1. Start with this short 4 minute video that was created by Trish Buchanan who is the widow of East Hartford Connecticut Police Officer Paul S. Buchanan, a dedicated police officer for almost 24 years and, who sadly took his own life in his police department March 12, 2013.  Please take 4 minutes to watch this video.

2. Then CLICK HERE to download our free roll-call discussion guide… about preventing police officer suicides.

3. Then go and talk about police suicide with someone else in your department or at roll-call.

4. Then go hug your loved ones!

5. For extra credit start a “Make It Safe” initiative within your department.
The Make It Safe is an initiative designed to help police officers to trust one another enough to be able to ask for help when they need it. This initiative, started by police psychologist Jack Digliani, Ph.D., Ed.D., gives suggestions about what we have to do to our law enforcement culture to make seeking mental health support for stress related issues okay.
CLICK HERE for a “Make It Safe” flyer to post on bulletin boards or go here: to read our article about the Make It Safe Initiative.

Rest in Peace Paul S. Buchanan, and so that your death not be in vain, we the living commit to making the changes necessary so that no one else will have to suffer as you did.

Thank you Trish Buchanan for sharing this story with us!

If you would like to help spread the word you can find the video Trish made on YouTube with this link:

If you need immediate help call the Safe Call Now crisis hotline for first responders at: 1-206-459-3020

Support the National Police Suicide Foundation at

CopsAlive was started six years ago when one of my law enforcement friends committed suicide. At that time no one was willing to talk about police officer suicides. Today, things are changing and CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions and suggest topics for us in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.

You are not alone. We will help you with training and resources to strengthen and condition yourselves, your peers, your department and our police culture so that deaths like those of my friend and Paul Buchanan will not be in vain.

At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.

Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE

The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
To learn more CLICK HERE

Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to read more about The Law Enforcement Survival Institute.

CLICK HERE if you would like to contact us to learn more about training for your organization.

I’m John Marx, Founder of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and the Editor of Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence. Thank you for reading!

About Editor

John Marx was a Police Officer for twenty-three years and served as a Hostage Negotiator for nineteen of those years. He worked as a patrol officer, media liaison officer, crime prevention officer and burglary detective. Also during his career he served as administrator of his city's Community Oriented Governance initiative through the police department's Community Policing project. Today John combines his skills to consult with businesses about improving both their security and their customer service programs. John retired from law enforcement in 2002. When one of his friends, also a former police officer, committed suicide at age 38, John was devastated and began researching the problems that stress creates for police officers. He decided he needed to do something to help change those problems and he wanted to give something back to the profession that gave him so much. He started a project that has evolved into Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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  1. Hi Andy,
    Thanks for your comments and reminder that we all need to keep track of our mental wellness with regular check ups just as we do with our physical wellness.

  2. Above all, don’t wait for crisis to strike before seeking help–be proactive against stress and PTSD by getting annual, voluntary, private “mental health checks” with a therapist. You don’t wait for a shootout to learn to shoot–in the same way, sharpen those coping skills before it’s too late and you have to call for help.

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