Suicide In Law Enforcement

1761 Words8 Pages
Suicide is an issue that affects people of all ages, races, and genders, but it is most common among white males. Suicide not only affects the person that kills themselves, but it also impacts the friends and loved ones that are left behind to deal with the aftermath. Suicide among law enforcement officers has become a major topic in the law enforcement community. Law enforcement is a job that is considered to be at high risk for suicide. Law enforcement officers experience many of the risk factors associated with suicide simply because of the nature of their work. Research on the matter identifies stressors within the law enforcement profession that lead some officers down the path to suicide. Many law enforcement agencies have now implemented…show more content…
Law enforcement is an occupation considered being at high risk for suicide. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) states, “Each year, more law enforcement officers die because of suicide than are killed in the line of duty.” The matter has become such an important issue throughout law enforcement, the IACP, and Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), hosted a symposium working with law enforcement, and other mental health agencies and professionals on a plan of action to take on issues dealing with officer mental health and suicide prevention. Looking at the possible contributing risk factors of suicide identified by the CDC, you can directly relate 8 of the 15 to work as a law enforcement officer. Those contributing risk factors and explanations are as follows: - History of mental disorders, especially clinical depression – Law enforcement officers often have clinical depression (sometimes undiagnosed) related to issues such as the loss of a co-worker or divorce. They also may have PTSD from a traumatic work related…show more content…
The Miami-Dade Police Department Psychological Services Section (PSS) has a Police Suicide Prevention Initiative that deals with the matter. The Miami-Dade initiative uses a multi-component program that involves administrative sanctioning and support, prevention actions separated into two categories (mandated 24/7 notification from Departmental entities to the PSS and mandated training), crisis intervention inclusive of voluntary hospitalization, treatment, and/or follow-up post-hospitalization discharge, and consultation to supervisory chain of command reference return-to-duty. The LAPD also has a suicide prevention campaign. Their initiative involves an e-learning course, supervisory training, roll call training, suicide prevention wallet cards, bulletin boards with suicide prevention information, website and electronic communication, and video messages. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) came up with an initiative called Breaking the Silence on Law Enforcement Suicides. The IACP website provides information on how to develop a suicide prevention program, and also provides samples of training materials, presentations, and suicide prevention materials. The goal of each of these programs is to improve officer coping mechanisms, and assist them in developing problem solving skills to build

More about Suicide In Law Enforcement

Open Document