NYPD fights 'suicide epidemic' in its ranks: what's the reason
As a result of the outgoing year, the New York Police Station (NYPD) led disturbing statistics: More recently, more officers have died from suicides than in the line of duty.
During 2019, 10 police committed suicide in New York alone, with eight of them during the summer. The last victim of police suicide was 33-year-old Sergeant Linghong Lee, shot himself in his own house in mid-October. At the same time, the police cannot name the exact causes of the death of either Linghong or his colleagues.
According to ABC7, at the end of November, NYPD developed a new suicide prevention program. Ben Tucker, First Deputy Commissioner of New York Police, said that only on the day the anonymous crisis hotline was opened, six officers phoned it before noon.
The main reason for the suicide of police observers called post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). The same idea in an exclusive commentary on our site was expressed by a therapist, police chaplain and the FBI in Wisconsin, Greg Young.
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“In fact, there are many things that create stress when working in law enforcement. Every day, their employees come across people who sometimes do cruel and truly scary things towards others. Worst of all, when it is done in relation to children.
Police officers have to react to heartbreaking cases, terrible incidents. Sometimes officers are faced with situations where they can do nothing to save a person, or at least help him. I personally can cite several cases in which officers told me about this. Considering that the majority of the police officers chose this job precisely in order to somehow improve the situation, it is especially difficult for them to experience such powerlessness, ”the chaplain explains.
According to Greg Young, a drop in public trust and respect for law enforcement also contributes to increased stress.
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“In general, officers do not make enough effort to balance stress, for example, through physical exercise, some kind of hobby, meditation or prayer. Cumulative stress disorder naturally leads to PTSS, as well as the experience of a single traumatic incident. I can talk for hours about the effects of stress experienced by officers and how this can lead to suicide or inappropriate behavior, ”says the psychologist.
The police themselves are another reason for the growth of suicides called the fear of employees to seek help. According to them, there is an opinion among officers that after a similar manifestation of weakness, a policeman's career will be over. And although in practice this is not always the case, the stereotype is quite strong. At the same time, the leadership of the police departments is trying not to recognize the presence of PTSS among its employees.
However, all these factors do not account for the annual increase in police suicides. According to statistics, the peak of suicide falls precisely on the 2019 year.
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