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U.S. police officers have many stressors in their career: witnessing horrible car crashes with children not wearing seatbelts, noncompliant citizens, and the negative public view of police officers. The negative view is caused by the few corrupt officers that have given a bad name to the majority who are actually trying to protect their communities. Going into their job, they know they’re at an increased risk of being killed on duty. According to (ODMP) officer down merona page, in 2018 it was seen that the majority of cop fatalities on duty were killed by firearms, while the second top killer were automobile collisions. This brought the total cops killed on duty to around 150 officers that year.
PTSD, depression, and other mental disorders are common because of the physical, emotional, and mental pressures of the job. Many officers don’t seek help because of the strong demeanor cops feel as if they have to put on for their communities. They see it to be shameful and a sign of weakness. One of the websites where officers can seek help is at Blue h.e.l.p. which was started in 2015. This organization’s personal mission is to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues for current and retired officers. Another mission is to advocate for benefits of police officers suffering mental illnesses like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On this website, it shows officers that have already commited suicide as well as when.
According to blue H.E.L.P., in 2018 alone, at least 167 police officers killed themselves and that only includes the suicides reported. The number of police suicides have been outnumbering the amount of on-duty deaths for years.
The rate of PTSD within police officers is five times higher than the regular population. Less than ten percent of police departments in the United States have suicide prevention programs. There have been 143 confirmed suicides, including 21 retired officers in 2019, alone.
The best thing to do is to just be compliant and make their job as easy as possible. Officers have recently been getting a lot of hate from social media and newspapers. People generalize officers as the bad guys because of a few corrupt cops that hit the news. Although, that isn’t to say that corrupt and racist officers are not a huge problem in America. It’s just to say, you might want to save your judgements until after you meet the next individual that pulls you over. Try to be polite and compliant and let the officer do their job.