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Help Our Helpers This book is in memory of two colleagues who for years worked in the field investigating deadly (hit and run) accidents, fatal shootings of citizens, gruesome murder scenes as well as suicides. One of them survived after being shot in his eye by a suspect. Nonetheless, they pushed themselves to make the streets safer while struggling to keep their marriages healthy.
In 2010 their public service work came to an end. Both friends committed suicide like thousands of cops before them. They departed without saying a word to their children or wives. Both of them left without saying goodbye to me.
I wanted to blame them for their selfish act, but when I reviewed the nationwide data regarding police suicide, the only thing I could do is live with the painful loss and grief of friends who gave until they could not give anymore.
Worldwide, cops are screaming for help but are afraid that you might criticize them. Now, with the economy in its condition, no cop is willing to share his desire to commit suicide with colleagues or department heads because he/she will be labeled as weak, and/or lose their career. What if those cops are in need of your help right now?
DO POLICE OFFICERS HAVE HIGHER SUICIDE RATES THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION?
According to (Langston, 1995), the statistics commonly cited in the media suggest the "suicide rate for law enforcement personnel is 22 deaths per 100,000 officers compared to 12 deaths per 100,000 in the general population. This estimate of police suicide is based on a 1995 Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) study of insurance claims by 92 local chapters in 24 states".
In my opinion, cops who are affected psychologically and physiologically by (ptsd) but do not commit suicide will be ineffective on or off the job. Very soon, you are going to see a rise in police shootings, inappropriate behavior (i.e.) drug dealing, substance abuse and addiction, domestic violence and more perpetrated by cops.