The Silent Assailant

The Silent Assailant by Julie Zielinski

EDITORS NOTE: Julie Zielinski is a Law Enforcement Survival Institute faculty member and lost her law enforcement deputy son to suicide. You can read her story in her book: Matt’s Last Call and you can read more here on CopsAlive – Here: My Journey by Julie Zielinski and Here: Matt’s Last Call or listen to our interview with Julie on the CopsAlive Podcast Here: “Matt’s Last Call: Surviving Our Protectors

Recently, we were in Washington D.C. attending a banquet called Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide. This first time banquet was held in conjunction with National Police Week and was sponsored by BLUE H.E.L.P. Its purpose was to honor and recognize the service of offices who made that fateful decision and their survivors. It is Blue HELP’s mission to put names and faces to the men and women of Law Enforcement whose emotional injuries become too much to bear. Although the number of Law Enforcement personnel who take their own lives typically exceeds… line-of-duty deaths the stigma often prevents recognition of service. BLUE H.E.L.P. is doing what they can to right this wrong because these officers had a life that impacted many before that final decision.

Suicide was described by one speaker as a “silent assailant” because of the difficulty of knowing what goes on inside another. However, the carnage of this killer is not silent. Since the year 2000 in America there has been a 30% in the number of suicides. Therefore, awareness, prevention and counseling services must be of paramount importance to our law enforcement community. And there must be mechanisms in place to deal with surviving families and close associates.

This brings us to the most important ingredient – HOPE!

It has been said people can live for days or weeks without food and drink but it is hard to live even a day without hope. How do we deliver HOPE to our law enforcement community and others with suicidal tendencies? Hope for a better tomorrow, HOPE that overcoming every difficulty and tragedy is possible, HOPE that others do care. Only then can we “silence” the silent assailant.

EDITORS NOTE: Start a law enforcement suicide prevention program within your agency today. It’s easy! Visit our www.CopsAlive.com/suicideprevention page to get links to several discussion guides, a 12 minute video and resources that you can present to your peers today! Don’t sit on the sidelines, start a discussion now – before it’s too late!

CLICK HERE to send Julie an email about buying her book: Matt’s Last Call (2nd Edition)

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CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers and improve their heathy, wellness and effectiveness. 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 CopsAlive.com. Put simply, the mission of CopsAlive is to save the lives of those who save lives! CopsAlive.com gathers information, strategies and tools to help law enforcement professionals plan for happy, healthy and successful careers, relationships and lives.
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