Have Couch, Will Travel: A blog about psychology and law enforcement

police suicide

September 25, 2013

Tags: police suicide, links to program "Preventing Police Suicide"

Two Oakland officers have killed themselves in less than two months bringing the total of suicides to four in less than five years - the same number as those killed in the line of duty. While there is controversy about the rate of police suicide as compared to the general population, the most poignant statistic is that cops are two to three times as likely to kill themselves as they are to be killed in the line of duty.

Police suicide is at the heart of my first novel, Burying Ben and the subject of chapters in my non-fiction books, Counseling Cops and I Love a Cop . Police work is sometimes called "the impossible profession" where one sin is worth a thousand good deeds. Cops see things most of us will never see and do things most of us could never do.

What can you do? Try smiling at the next officer you see and thanking him or her for their service. Click on the link below to hear three experts talk about preventing police suicides. Brian Cahill, father of an officer who took his own life, Lt. Mary Dunnigan of the SFPD Behavior Science Unit, and Dr. John Violanti, distinguished researcher, professor and author or numerous books on police suicide.
KQED
http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201309250900