Your first job is to take care of yourself, emotionally.

You’re no good to anyone if you don’t do that first (that includes your fellow officers, your family and the public). No one can tell better if an officer is in trouble than the officer himself–but they need to learn and practice some important steps in order to do that. This includes seeing a therapist at least once a year (our “mental health checks“) and learn what personal strengths you have to keep yourself out of emotional danger. By doing this, by learning not just about suicide, but about anxiety, stress, trauma and PTSD, you can be ready for trouble BEFORE it happens and know the steps to follow.


Like firearms practice and other training, there is a thing called “readiness” in both our physical and mental health.


How many police suicides are there each year?  There are between 100 – 150 police suicides each year. In 2008 there were 141, 2009 had 143 and, in 2012, there were 126 police suicides.  In 2016, it was reduced to 108.   For more details, read the Police Suicide Study 2008 – 2016. 


Two to three times as many officers commit suicide than are killed by the guns of felons (emphasis–not “than die in the line of duty”).


What is the police suicide rate?  For 2012 (126 police suicides nationally) the suicide rate was approximately 14/100/000.  In 2016, it was 12.3/100,


What is the “average Life Expectancy” of a police officer? John Violanti maintains that an average life span for police officers is 66 years, or 10.6 years after retirement, adjusted for age and gender. This is lower than the average for males in the United States (76 years of age).

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