Officer Safety Corner: A Practical Approach to Officer Suicide

The incidence of police officer suicide and the related topics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the emotional health of officers has demanded the attention of law enforcement leaders for decades. Yet, year after year, more officers take their own lives than are killed in the line of duty.1 The need to address the conditions within the law enforcement profession and culture that contribute to these tragedies has never been greater.

By the time a police officer is seriously contemplating suicide, a chain of events has taken place that puts leaders well behind the curve. At this point, direct, compassionate, non-stigmatizing administrative intervention may be the only available option. Linking at-risk officers with skilled professional services, implementing a safety plan, and establishing clear guidelines regarding any possible return to work to reinforce hope are important steps to protect the officer, his or her coworkers, and the organization.

Read More
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Chief Kevin Meyer, of the Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, Police Department, has been doing police work for more than 20 years. During his years of service, Chief Meyer has been fitness conscious an...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Without a sufficient amount of quality sleep, a police officer can experience impaired performance. However, it is not only performance, but also physical and mental health that can be adversely affec...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
The law enforcement profession must recognize the importance of officer safety and wellness. Officers see, hear, and face things that most people will not witness in their life-times, and the resultin...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Approximately 1,000 people in the United States alone die each day from sudden cardiac arrest, leading to approximately half a million deaths each year.1 Currently, the only effective treatment for ca...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Officer wellness is an important contemporary topic in law enforcement, and many agencies and organizations have developed programs to help officers get in shape, expand their education, and deal with...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Emotional health and wellness is one of the most critical issues facing law enforcement, yet it is one of the least addressed. The stress and trauma faced by officers have adverse effects on their emo...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Many law enforcement agencies use physical fitness tests, which include cardiovascular (cardio) and flexibility components, to ensure new hires can handle the physical demands of police work. This fit...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Two words that explain the bond that is formed between K9 handlers and their K9s are loyalty and companionship. The bond that forms between a K9 handler and the K9 is a very special one, and each such...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
Every day, law enforcement officers may be required to perform responsibilities that test their physical ability, endurance, and strength. They are often required to carry heavy loads, including body ...
Officer Safety Corner
Share
In May 2015, the report by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing analyzed the state of law enforcement in the United States.1 It included a quote from Will Bowen, a world-renowned faci...