Police Suicide: An International Crisis


Police suicides are occurring at alarming rates. This crisis is an international problem within the law enforcement community.

National police suicide statistics can be murky because few departments report them, but the nonprofit Badge of Life counted 126 officer suicides in 2012. In July of 2014, Brian Nordli reported that Bob Douglas, founder of the National Police Suicide Foundation believes that the number is even higher and stated that two officers commit suicide for each officer who is killed in the line of duty by a criminal.

Comparing police suicide suicides for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and comparing them to police officer line of duty deaths for the same period the magnitude of the crisis becomes clear. Police suicide is the number one cause of death of among law enforcement officers. Badge of Life recorded 126 suicides in 2012, while the Officer Down Memorial Page recorded 133 Line of Duty Deaths.


Douglas estimates that only 3 percent of the country’s 18,000 police agencies have suicide prevention programs. Experts say most people contemplating suicide send signals for help.

“I really think the key is leadership,” Douglas said. “That’s the reason why we’re wanting to develop this sensitivity enhancement model.”

Sources: Las Vegas Sun and E-Roll Call Magazine.


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