My first recollection of a suicide was the doctor that delivered me. His wife was one of my teachers. That was years ago. It was heartbreaking to hear the story even though I was very young.
I have been working with a great organization to understand, accept and recognize Police Suicides. There has been at least 58 law enforcement suicides this year and at least 112 law enforcement suicides last year. Blue Help states that there is a law enforcement related suicide every 3 days.
I have been an advocate in bringing awareness to this issue of suicides in law enforcement for some time. After all it appears to be at an epidemic level.
Well, recently, I was made aware of a great person that had no law enforcement or military affiliation at all that committed suicide. We stress the look for the clues in our fellow officers, but what about our friends, old classmates, etc that are not in the law enforcement? They need our help just as much. Please do not take this the wrong way, we still need to help out our fellow cops. But we have friends and classmates that are still need as well. Let’s not neglect them.
I have heard from many that say that they observed warning signs but never did or said anything to help. Sound familiar? If you see or feel something wrong, reach out and say something. It sucks when it is too late and we know we should have said something.
If you are reading this and have thought of suicide, talk to someone. There are many folks out there willing to help. If you have no idea who to talk to, email and call me! I’ll find someone.
If you suspect someone has suicidal thoughts, don’t put the blinders on. Talk to them or find someone to talk to them. It is a tough talk, but one that can save a life. As cops, we talk to people in critical situations all the time. When it is time to talk to a fellow officer or a friend, it is no different.
There are many hotlines you can call. Law Officer has partnered with Under The Shield Hotline at: 855.655.9775 and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is: 1.800.273.8255.
I plead with you. There is an Elephant In The Room and please don’t let it be you or someone you care about.
Brian Hill is a Staff Sergeant for an agency in the Denver metro area. He is also the owner of MentalAmmo.com, a law Enforcement training provider. Brian is a subject matter expert in Arrest Control for Colorado P.O.S.T.