Over 13,000 registrants and hundreds of other walk in law enforcement officers attended the 116th annual International Association of Chief of Police conference this week and among the dozens of topics were educational seminars on the issues of police suicide, stress management, wellness, nutrition and the role of sports medicine in officer safety and wellness. The presenters came from the Los Angeles Police Department Behavioral Sciences Unit, The Denver Police Department and the Fairfax County Police Department.
Of the resources made available… to members of IACP and attendees was an outstanding interactive CD-ROM prepared by the IACP Police Psychological Services Section entitled: “Preventing Law Enforcement Officer Suicide: A Compilation of Resources and Best Practices”. The CD contains information about developing a suicide prevention program in your agency, sample suicide prevention materials, sample training materials, sample presentations on the topic of police suicide, sample funeral protocols, and a list of additional reading materials on the topic.
The statistics about the numbers of cops who take their own lives are far too high for us to ignore any longer. This issues of police suicide and total wellness for police officers must become a priority in all of our discussions.