Monday, May 05, 2008

Police Suicide

I was debating about writing about it, but I guess it certainly is cathartic to write it out even if no one reads it.

A former student of mine and officer of two years committed suicide a couple of weeks ago. He certainly fit the bill of the last person that you would expect to do something like that. As I sat through his memorial and watched the photos of him as a baby, young child, student, athlete, son, brother, soldier, and officer, it left me even more sad for his family and the rest of us as well. He was funny, outgoing, everyone liked or loved him. He always tried to find the humor. I wonder how or why he lost his sense of humor at such a young age (Under 30).

Police suicide is a phenomenon that is still hard to understand for a community of people who pride themselves on being able to handle any situation.


David Garrett said...

Pete-Sorry for the loss of a student-brother-comrade of the force.

A former student of mine did the same thing last year. I was also surprised and in disbelief.

Having been in this industry for so long, I have come to suspect that all of us in emergency services are the last ones to reach for help when needed. Call it blind machismo or just plain stupid....we all need help occasionally & it really is wasteful not to reach out before taking irrevocable action.

Once again....sorry for your loss.

Pete said...

Thanks, bro. I think it is a combination of many things, but truly nothing that can't be changed towards the right direction. Dr. Blum put it bluntly, you can kill yourself tomorrow, not today. There is a lot of solid preventative measures one can take in our field. To lose all hope is incredibly sad.

I am sorry for your loss as well.

Wildcard said...

Whoa Pete, I just noticed this post. I'm sorry about your friend, you're right it is an all too common occurance. Nobody really knows why a person does something so drastic, but I suspect there are numerous causal factors in most cases and usually it adds up over time. We in the public safety realm have a hard time talking about things that bother us because we are supposed to be the "sheepdogs" and therefore somehow impervious to stress. It's too bad that he and so many like him don't seek the counsel of a friend or more professional assistance when things get bad.

Kettlebell Lady said...

So sorry about your friend and brother in blue. Off course there is no way for me know what kind of mental trama you all go through with some of the shit you have to deal with, but my husband had me read this book called "I Love a Cop" by Ellen Kirschman.