Suicides "never happen" as
a result of police work. At least, that's what many chiefs of police say.
In the United States, 125 - 150 police officers kill
themselves each year--but never because of the job--say these chiefs. Instead, they blame the officer for some
personal defect or, if all else fails, they blame the spouse.
Over the past three years, there were almost 450
police suicides, total. Not a single one was attributed to the stress and trauma of the job, yet we are seeing
more and more cases in which officers have been traumatized during their heroic deed and then fallen victim to PTSD and suicide.
In lectures and interviews across the country, there
is talk about how "stressful" police work is.
But can the horrors and nightmares of police work, the
terrors of near-death experiences over ten, 20 or 30 years lead some officers to suicide? Research says, "Yes"
but those in charge say, "No." No one is suggesting that all police suicides are work related--of course not. But,
over and over, we see cases in which officers have performed heroic acts and then committed suicide because
of the trauma received from those very same actions.
“In some ways,"
wrote one expert, "a cop's work may be even more traumatic than that of a soldier sent into a war zone. The police officer's job, over many years, exposes and re-exposes them to traumatic events that would make
anybody recoil in horror.”
is not a time to hide behind excuses like, "But the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program (PSOB) doesn't pay
out for suicides." We need to stand up and speak for what is right. Even if the government refuses
to pay the rightful benefits, we must begin, today, honoring our fallen officers.
us begin here.
need to care about our officers and their families. Not just say we do. Start by adding your name below
to show you recognize that police work CAN lead to suicide. It's as easy as an e-mail to email@example.com
time, through our combined voices, we hope to make a difference. Currently, the words on the National Law Enforcement
Memorial Wall ring hollow: "It is not how they died that made them heroes--it is how they lived."
those words are true, then many more police heroes should be on that memorial wall.
us in sending a message by adding your name to this list of "pipers." Just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join our growing band of pipers
We bear witness to the fact that police work can lead to suicide.
"In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence
of our friends."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bisek, Psy.D., Psychologist
Goss, Catch A Falling Star Law Enforcement Assistance Program
L. Levenson, Jr., Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, Deputy Chairman, Badge of Life, www.drlevenson.com
McCarthy, police suicide survivor
"I think there is a
special place in heaven for those officers who have committed suicide. A place close to God's heart and under his arm. A place
to heal their hearts and souls and to rest a while from the tragedy and sorrow they endured. And I truly think they are in
heaven with full honors and respect and peace at last. May they rest in God's arms, they have earned it."
R. Kates, Author, CopShock
Louis, Butte County CA Sheriffs K-9
K. Mehtani, MD, Psychiatrist, Fair Oaks Psychiatric Associates
Warren, Bn Chief, San Mateo Fire Dept and Chair, San Mateo County CISM Team
Stachowski, Ret. Greensboro NC Police Dept
Debbie Martin, Survivor / Steve Martin 10-30-2005 LEO
Cameron, Ret. California Highway Patrol
Augusta, Ret. California Highway Patrol
Whitley - Marriage & Family Therapist, Police and Fire Counseling
T. Reilly, TX, Retired State Police
suicide is a line-of-duty death, and the officer must be respected and honored
in the same way as those who die as a result of combat or accidents. After interviewing hundreds of police officers for my
book CopShock, most of whom admitted to suicidal thoughts and some attempts, I have become enlightened. My hope is that all
police chiefs and other administrators will finally recognize the obvious—trauma suffered on the job may lead to suicide.
Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR
Author of “CopShock, Second Edition: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress
Please go to: www.CopShock.com.
Allen R. Kates, Author, CopShock
Shannon, Marriage and Family Therapist
Mentink, RN, FNP, PhD, University of California at Davis
Clark, RN, MS, Sergeant (Ret.), Connecticut State Police, in memory of Trooper Ed Tuttle, CT State Police
California Peer Support Association (CPSA)
Spruiell, #2854, Ret. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Narr, Ret. Captain, Davis Police Department, and Survivor of law enforcement suicide
California Highway Patrol Officer
Aaron Gilliland was presented the California Medal of Valor after suffering burns and breaking his back rescuing two people
from a burning car. After lengthy struggles that arose after the incident and injury, Aaron Gilliland took
his own life in 2009.
Aaron's heroism and Medal of Valor seemed
of little account to the California Highway Patrol as he was buried. "It's not how you live that makes you
a hero," they seemed to say, "it's how you die."
Ramirez, Emergency Room Tech
G. Schulz, LODS Survivor, Bruce Schulz, FBI Special Agent, 2/12/49 - 03/08/1995
Andy O'Hara, Sergeant (Ret.) California Highway Patrol - PTSD and near-suicide survivor, in memory
of Aaron Gilliland (California Highway Patrol), Sgt Eddie Adamson, and the many other brave heroes listed on this page.
Sergeant J.B. Brafford, Patrol Field Commander, UNC Charlotte Police,NC
Rillo, survivor of law enforcement suicide 2009
Isaacs, retired officer
Blondeel-Timmerman, in Memory of EDSO Deputy Melissa A. Meekma - EOW 12-09-2008
Bush, instructor and retired police officer
Black, Ph.D., Arden Psychological Services
John Michael Regan, US Customs and Border Protection
Clark, M.D., FACEP, Author, Surviving the Emergency Room
Operations Academy, Peer Support Program Manager, US Customs Service Port Director, Retired
In 1980, Toronto Police Officer
Edward Adamson was forced to wait outside the door as heavily armed gunmen allowed another officer, pleading for his life,
to bleed to death. The ensuing shootout in which he was involved added to the nightmares he had until he could stand
it no more and took his own life in 2005.
Sergeant Adamson's death
was ruled "in the line of duty" death by the workmans' compensation board. In spite of pleas from officers
and the community, year after year, the police department refuses to follow the board's decision and honor Sgt. Adamson's
death as "In the line of duty."
Read more at The tragedy of Segeant Edward Adamson
Adamson, wife of the late Sergeant Edward Adamson of the Toronto Police Department, who lost his life to suicide after severe
PTSD suffered in his heroic efforts to rescue a dying comrade.
Adamson, Police Officer and daughter of the late Sergeant Edward Adamson, a hero and victim of line of duty suicide.
L Combs, survivor of suicide
Morgan, a good friend of Sergeant Edward Adamson--"in support of Ed and all officers who have succumbed to PTSD."
Rogers, Ph.D., Psychologist
THE TEMA CONTER MEMORIAL TRUST
Bruce C. Kruger, Detective Inspector,
(retired), Ontario Provincial Police
Barkess, Cpl, Warren Co SD
Police Officer Roger Roseberry
Tanguay, Sheriff's Captain
George M. Wawrykow, Ph.D., ABPP
Christian Child, Couples & Family Clinical Psychologist
I am a retired
Police Sergeant and served for over 25 years. I met and married my husband, also an officer, and we had
2 beautiful children. When they were still little, my husband was working traffic and made a car stop. The
end result was that the driver sped off with my husband hanging on to the window of the car for dear life. The driver grabbed
his sawed off shotgun and my husband put all 6 rounds from his service revolver into the young man's chest as the vehicle
was still speeding down the road.
was always haunted by the look of that man filled with hatred, even with his heart splattered all over the windshield. My
husband had no choice but to let go of the car and drop to the ground. The car ran over him and crushed both of his
knee caps. That was the beginning of the end. He suffered PTSD, which was not diagnosed until after his death.
fought the retirement board for MANY years to change my husband's death to an Industrial Death. They voted against
me, even though a Workman's Comp. judge ruled it as an industrial death. I took it to Superior Court and the judge ordered
the police department to change it to a work related death. My husband died on New Year's Day. (Name
, MPA, Retired federal special agent (USDOL-OIG) and
Justice Instructor, Lanier Technical College
Eva Tak, Ret. Lt. Richmond PD, Marriage & Family Counselor
Fleming Retired Clarkstown Police Department
Spong Ontario Provincial Police Supervisor
Gentry, Police Lieutenant, Criminal Investigtions
Dill, Counseling Services for Fire Fighters, LLC
Cook, LCPC Roselle IL Police Department
Inspector John Hagen, Milwaukee, WI PD
Mark Kamena, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
Clinical Director, First Responder Support Network, Inc.
Chair, California Psychological Association Division of
Clinical and Professional Practice, Division 1
Senior Police Officer Roger Roseberry
Constable Wynford Austin, Bermuda Police CISM Team Coordinator
Occupational Chaplains of America
Mark Hall, Ph.D, Psychologist
Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE) Inc.
Cathey Solo, surviving spouse of Gregory Allen Dixon, California Highway Patrol 7/15/1967
- 11/9/2006, and Richard Dixon, surviving brother. "It is not how they
died that made them heroes--it is how they lived."
Sanchez, Police Officer
Nielson, Chief, Placerville Police Department
Retired Peace Officers Association of California (RPOAC)
Garrett, Retired Police Lieutenant
Keenan, Sergeant (Ret.) Alameda, CA PD
Law Enforcement Mental Health Alliance (LEMHA)
Leon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Fair
Oaks Psychiatric Associates
Badge of Life Police Suicide Prevention Program
Cole ~ Officer's Wife~ Southern California
Stephens (Former Police Officer) BA and MS Criminal Justice
Koh, Boulder Police Department, in honor of her beloved companion, Darrell K. Honza, 11-2-1955 to 10-21-2010, Scott County
S.O., Shakopee, Minnesota.
Mike Huwer MTPD (Ret), in memory of Officers Kent Biggs and Nick Foote, both MTPD.
and Shirley Watkins, in memory of Detective Clinton G. Watkins. "Always just a breath away, one beat of my heart."
W. Warriner, MC, NCC, LAC
Lieutenant, retired AZ DPS
President, Arizona Concerns of Police Survivors
(a 501c3 organization)
Surviving Co-Worker 1979 - 2009
Peter Platt, Ottawa Police officer (retired) Veterans Affairs, Canada – OSSIS Peer Helper. Disabilities Advisor, Assistance Dogs Division - Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Dr. Carl James Alaimo Sr.
Isabella DiGiordano, Federal Agent
Administrator of True Blue Warriors: Supporter of Badge of Life
Please Help Missing Children
Detective Todd Lemmon, Peer
EAP/CISM Unit, Sheriffs Office,
Mel Callander, Corporal (ret., 35 years service), Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
Terry Johnson, Police Officer (31 years) Arizona Department
of Public Safety
|:t. Michael Pigott
Out-of-control police administrators drove
the heroic veteran NYPD lieutenant Michael Pigott to his death. Said his wife, "They ripped his heart out." No one questions
that this was a line of duty death. Will the name of this hero be inscribed on any memorial walls—anywhere?
Read NYPD police suicide Michael Pigott.
Robert Pigott, brother of NYPD ESU Michael Pigott
Peggy Spencer, school principal and cousin of Lt. Michael
Timothy A. Siar, Jr
Randy Wiessinger, Deputy Sheriff, Dane County Sheriff’s
Office – Madison, WI, Honor Guard Coordinator
Tami Hodges, CEAP, President, Public Safety EAP
Mary-Lou Senior Constable Keating, New South Wales Police
Force Highway Patrol
Gerald J LeFevre, Patrol Sergeant and Chaplain,
Surry County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina
Edward Rostine, patrol officer (ret.), McPherson
Police Department, McPherson Kansas (USA)
MCO William Porter, Orange County Corrections,
Training and Staff Development
Miriam Delgado, Police Officer, Stamford Connecticut
Sergeant Steve Hunt, Patrol Division, Idaho Falls
Lisa Houle, Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles
(Rev.) Jarvis C.. Burlingame, Troy PA police, 39 years service and former Chief of Police
Novotny, in memory of Detective Benjamin Novotny, of the Eastham, MA police
Sgt T.A. Billingsly, Current Deputy Sheriff and
retired police officer suicide survivor.
Bill Truesdell, SPHR, publisher Managing Police
Stress and Soldier of the City
Francis M Doig, NYPD (Ret.), National Police Suicide
Ordained Pastor and Crisis Chaplain (available for NY service)
Thomas Andrews - Inspector (retired)
Debborah Reid, Retired Police Sergeant
Detective Joanne Waite #548, York Regional Police, Crimes
Against Children Unit
Katherine Closs - with thanks.
Ed Ciolkosz, Criminal Justice Instructor/Police Suicide
Brian Cahill, in memory of his son, Officer John Cahill
Sgt Nancy Csabanyi #1594, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s
Office, In Memory of all who felt the need to stop the pain.
Amber Frank, community worker, suicide prevention
Constable Kirsti K. Haaka #416, Hamilton Police Service,
Ontario, Canada – “In Life, Not Death.”
Brooke Huber, MSN, ANP-BC
Michael Apodaca, Sergeant II, Los Angeles Police
President, Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes And Drums
Detective Al Sheppard (Ret), NYCPD-Major Case Squad
Doug Kavanagh, Constable #3704, Toronto Police Service.
In honour of S/Sgt Eddie Adamson. I have not forgotten.
Retired Maryland State Trooper Tfc. Haines and
wife Jessica Haines. We vow to dedicate our lives to speaking out for law enforcement PTSD.
Cpl. Julia Gilroy, MCPD, Rockville, MD
Rarchael Guarnieri, police officer and in honor
of a lost comrade.
Ivie M. Nance
Deb Phillips, Survivor of a law enforcement suicide,
ret. Placer County Sheriff, Calif.
Dave Laveck, Chief of Police (ret.)
Ret.Cpl.Lance Red Hawk Shauger, SRT/SWAT Officer.
Sgt. Edward Pallas, Montgomery County Police
Lt. Don Rasmuson, Supervisor, UND Police Dept,
Grand Forks, ND
John E.Parker, Sr. Retired with 28 yrs. of
proud service. Davis Police Dept. CA.
r.i.p. -- kenny hamilton, d/sgt 500, scpd(ny).
Lt. Patrick Haran (ret) a multiple survivor of
suicide. In memory of my life long friend and brother officer William "Billy" Duggan Badge#19, Westford Ma. P.D.
July 1st, 1953 - lost to suicide May 15th, 2008.
"May you be forever young."
Peter J. Cunningham, in memory of Eddy Adamson
Rod, Dela and Scarlett Anderson
Sherry C. Baldwin, PhD,
LPC, CTS, B.C.E.T.S.
Human Service Support Team, Buncombe County, NC, Sheriff’s
In memory of Captain Dan Summey, Hendersonville Police
Ellen Marshall, Ph.D.
Owens Campus Criminal Justice Technology,
Rhonda Summey Blankenship, in memory of her brother,
Captain Dan Summey, Hendersonville Police Department.
"In memory of Capt. Dan Summey, Hendersonville, N.C. Police Dept.”
David O’Laughlin, Municipal Police Institute, Inc.
Chrissy DiPietro-Sokol in memory of Philadelphia
Officer Christopher DiPietro
Phyllis De Falco Kentleton, Friends of Police and First Responders
Dr. Jason Carey
Brenda Marasse, OPP/911 Dispatcher
Deborah Louise Ortiz - wife of a retired state trooper
suffering with PTSD and producer of the documentary CODE 9 - OFFICER NEEDS ASSISTANCE, a documentary made in memory of the officers who have lost their lives.
Cpl. Matthew W. Williams, Erie Police Department
Erin Inskip, Ret. Marin Co. Sheriff's Dept.
Peggy Sweeney, Founder/President
The Sweeney Alliance, author: the Grieving Behind the Badge program
Nancy Ricks, in memory of my brother, Officer Sonny
Detective Sgt. James T. Harris, in memory of my father,
Mark Harris, a police officer.
William Hugh, in honor of my grandfather
Heather Duncan, resigned OPP constable
Samuel Lopez, Crisis Negotiator/Patrol Officer,
Des Plaines (IL) Police Dept.
Basil Rigas Illinois, in memory of TC.
Sgt. Mark DiBona Seminole County Sheriff’s Office,
Sanford, FL. Patrol Division and Academy Instructor. Attempted Police suicide survivor, in memory of my two Law Enforcement
friends Thomas McCall and Patrick Dwyer.
Lawrence Michael Moore (LaMor), Deputy United States Marshal, Retired (disability retirement).
Det./Sgt. Ron Holmes (Retired) HCSD - Indiana
Sgt. T. "Jake" Jones, Greater Cleveland Transit Police
Department, Cleveland, Ohio.
Sgt. Christian Dobratz, M.A. (Ret. Medically), Hutchinson
Police Services, MN., Professor of LE at Minnesota State University Mankato.
Shirikian, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist
J Rabago, www.anxietybehindthebadge.com
Sylvio (Syd) A Gravel, Staff Sergeant (ret’d.), M.O.M., www.56secondsbook.com and www.workplacediversitymanagement.com
Detective #3995 David Bailey of the Calgary Police Service, Calgary Alberta , Canada.
Vincent Gibson, In Loving Memory of Detective Joseph Gibson
Badge # 8105 Philadelphia Police Department
Retired MS Bureau of Narcotics Agent Geoffrey Still
Rebecca L. Gentry, Texas Dept. Of Public Safety
Harry Keith Mullinax, Corrections Officer, Delaware
Dept of Corrections
Lee Ann Jordan, In loving memory of our HERO, Jason
Jordan - Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Lori Gill, Certified Trauma Specialist, and Chair
of the Niagara Suicide Prevention Coalition www.CreativeCounsellingApproaches.org
Sgt. Robert R. McCall, sufferer severe cumulative
PTSD, 27 years law enforcement
Chris Ciesla, Peer Contact Western New York Police
Linda Manning, RN, CRNI
Deputy Sandy Ruiz-Kolb, Tom Green County Sheriff
Office, San Angelo, Texas
Deputy Robert Perryman (RET), Badge 109
Jack F. Blanchard, California Highway Patrol #
4607 ( retired )
Officer Sandy NeSmith, Aiken Public Safety; in honor of
Aiken County Sheriff's Investigator Barbara D. Wingate. You are never forgotten.
Richard W. Melby, Deputy (ret.), Solano County Sheriff,
Mark Kamena, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified in Police &
Public Safety Psychology, Clinical Director, First Responder Support Network, Inc., President, California Psychological Association
Kathy T. Smith, in honor of ATSAIC Christopher Smith,
NC Highway Patrol, US Secret Service
Sgt. Lisa S Satcher, Gainesville Police Department, FL
Deborah C. Moore, Ph.D., LMFT. Lieutenant, NYPD (ret),
author of "Who Helps The Helper...? Proven Stress Management Techniques for Law
Enforcement Officers." http://www.drdebimoore.org/
Charles Smith, Commander, Tennessee Valley Authority Police,(Retired
Lt. William Gordon, MS PTSD Survivor
Patricia I. Nolan, 2305, Sheriff's Deputy, Crisis Intervention
Team Member, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Chattanooga Tennessee
Sgt. TR (Tom) Gallemore, Specialized Patrol, Emergency
Response Team Leader, Virginia Tech Police Department
Sgt. Tim Dowdy – Indianapolis Police; CIT Officer; missing
my friend Jason Jordan
Hamilton, RCMP retired, President - Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, Quinte Chapter Xlll
Peggy W. Koepke, R.N., M.F.T., retired
Colleen Sanchez, in memory of Officer Ryan Healy, Chicago Police Department
Mike Quinn, author of "Walking with the Devil: The Police Code of Silence"
Daniel Jenkins, Sacramento Law Enforcement Community Chaplain
Lisa O'Hara, Outreach Chaplain, Law Enforcement Chaplaincy - Sacramento
Romaniuk, Senior Police Constable, Orangeville Police Service, Ontario
Daniel T. Butler, FTO Patrol Officer (Industrial Ret. after 25 Yrs. with PTSD) State of Calif.
for the Office of Protective Services.
Charlotte M. Banish mother of Lt. Joseph J. Banish, NYState Police April 1, 2008
Kent LaVelle, in memory of my son, police officer Brett S LaVelle (death by suicide August 15, 2012, age 23)
Craig Meyer, Ret, SLCO
SD. , in memory of K. Eyre, B. Forbes & S. Crawford. Brothers and wingmen.
Cpl. Trent Sobolewski, Lufkin
|Officer Paul S. Buchanan
Trish, Jared, Benjamin and Frosty Buchanan in memory of Officer Paul Buchanan, East Hartford Police Department
Charles F. Brogan, Warren County Sheriff's Office
Jaan Schaer, Retired Manager EFAP Toronto Police
Carrie Hemiller, Social Worker, In Memory of all
of those who couldn't handle their pain any longer.
William Bromilow – Retired Ontario Provincial Police Officer, Ontario Canada.
Patrick Michael Pigott
Scott W. Beach, MS, RN – Psychiatric Crisis Nurse, Juvenile Officer (ret.), NY
Kurt L. Mahnke, MA, MDiv, LCSW, http://kurtmahnke.com/
Joe and Dolores Wilson, in memory
and honor of our son, Lt. Jeff Wilson
J. A. Alex "The Padre"
Gonzalez, California Highway Patrol, #10817, Sergeant and Chaplain-Retired, currently Senior Chaplain for the California Association
of Highway Patrolmen
Corporal Dave Shultz, Denver Police Dept., Denver International Airport
Floyd Bennet Field, in memory of Michael W. Pigott
Lt. Dave Wilson in memory of my brother Lt. Jeff Wilson
Eddie Adamson, Chief of Police,
J Stecker Jr
Tammy Castagna, Dispatcher East
Hartford Police Department Connecticut, in memory of one of the best officers of our department Paul Buchanan #208 (http://southwindsor.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/south-windsor-s-paul-buchanan-remembered-as-dedicated1aa8c587f4)
P.O. Orlando Fonseca, MA, Performance Management
Section, Human Resources Division, Chicago Police Department. In Memory
of P.O. Kristy Wilkerson and P.O. Ryan Healy.
Lt. G.M. Genes, Ret., Past President of the New
Jersey Police Honor Legion, Vice-Pres. of the N.J./N.Y. Detectives Crime
Clinic, Former Vice-Pres. N.J.P.B.A. S.O.A. #109A, Former State Delegate
Tracy Gordon, in honor of Lt. Darrell W. Gordon,
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Lawrence "Skip" McDowell, Deputy Sheriff (disability
Det. Sgt. Anita Seamans, Live Oak Police Department in memory of Det.
Russell Maxwell, end of watch April 6, 2011
ASIST-Coaching Trainer for
supporting suicide safer communities
trainer - RCMP / ICISF
Sgt. Charles E. Inman,
Jr., Greencastle Police Department, Area 30 Career Center Law Enforcement, Greencastle,
Michael Goodwin, Concord Police Department, CA
Gary S. Roosa, Legal Advisor, Waterbury Police Department, CT
Add your name by writing Ron Clark at email@example.com and saying, "Please add my name as a piper."
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