Officer Safety Corner: Suicide Awareness and Prevention for Law Enforcement Professionals

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 resulting cumulative impact of stress and traumatic events witnessed by officers can wreak havoc on their physical, emotional, and psychological health. As a result, detrimental effects can percolate into all areas of an officer’s life (e.g., family, friends, peers, agency, and community members). Despite this, many officers do not ask for assistance due to the fear of being labeled as weak by their peers. Instead, officers often battle their demons through addiction or behavioral and relationship issues. Officers and law enforcement leaders must take an active role in normalizing the process of requesting assistance for these issues to limit how many officers suffer in silence.