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.
Thanks to American Police Beat and the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association for putting the issue of police officer suicides on the “front page”. On the front page of their February 2011 edition, American Police Beat magazine features an article by Gary Delagnes the president of the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association entitled: “We need to talk about suicides”.
Police officer suicides are an issue that is long since overdue for serious discussion within our profession. We need active discussion, awareness training and action because If we don’t care about it, who will. We are leaving a legacy for our police families to deal with because we are too ignorant or afraid to handle the fact that more of our brothers and sisters are falling at their own hands than are being murdered in the line of duty. This is an issue that should be discussed in Command Staff meetings as much as in Roll Call sessions about the world. CLICK HERE for a copy of our Roll Call discussion guide.
Statistics indicate that somewhere between 2-6 times more officers kill themselves each year than are killed by the bad guys.
A quarter of female police officers and nearly as many male officers assigned to shift work had thought about taking their own lives, a study of police work patterns and stress has shown*.
What to Do?
We Need to Discuss This Topic Now. It should be a part of Roll Call Training and at every level of your organization. We should ask:
Did You Know Someone Who Committed Suicide?
Have You Ever Contemplated Suicide Yourself?
How Should We Help Someone We Think May Be Contemplating Suicide?
Police Officer Suicides are becoming an epidemic. Over the last several years suicides by police officers have out numbered the number of officers killed in the line of duty by 3 to 1. It is estimated that between 400 to 500 officers take their own lives each year. This is a major problem and as law enforcement professionals we must resolve this problem ourselves. The first step is awareness and then we must take action. I started this blog at www.copsalive.com when a friend and former Sheriff’s Patrol Sergeant committed suicide. No one saw it coming and in my twenty three years as a police officer… Continue reading
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