Sunday, February 11, 2007
USATODAY.com: The California Highway Patrol is developing training for suicide awareness and prevention after eight troopers killed themselves in eight months last year, for a total of 13 since September 2003. The CHP toll is "the largest cluster I've seen for a department that size," says Robert Douglas, executive director of the National Police Suicide Foundation.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police is circulating a proposal to make suicide prevention tools available to all of the nation's nearly 18,000 state and local police agencies. "Current police culture … tends to be entirely avoidant of the issue," leaving suicidal officers with "no place to turn," a draft of the proposal says.
The suicide foundation says it has verified an average of 450 law enforcement suicides in each of the last three years, compared with about 150 officers who died annually in the line of duty. Douglas says no more than 2% of the nation's law enforcement agencies have prevention programs.
Suicide rates for police — at least 18 per 100,000 — are higher than for the general population, according to Audrey Honig, chief psychologist for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]