Officer Suicide – Uniting a House Divided
By Karen SolomonPublished on Jan 30, 2019
Karen Solomon is a national speaker, author, columnist and advocate. Karenis also the co-Founder and President of Blue H.E.L.P., and she will be speaking in depth about the rise of officer suicide during her Accelerate 2019 sessions.
In 2016, an officer who served his community very well for 17 years died by suicide. He had spent the last two years of his life struggling from post-traumatic stress, a direct result of two on-duty incidents. After his death, his Lieutenant told me that he wanted to give this officer a funeral with honors because he deserved it – but some of the officers in his department thought otherwise.
Those officers said he didn’t deserve it, he wasn’t one of them anymore. He chose to leave them. He chose suicide. Others in the department countered that he did deserve honors, saying that he served for 17 years, he was one of them, and he literally gave his life to the career. Some members of his community, the same people he served for seventeen years, said, “We don’t want to waste our money or our resources on him. He did not die a hero.”