On June 16, 2020 the United States Congress enacted the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act to better understand the factors behind police officer suicides. These statistics play a role in the development of programs and resources to help prevent suicides among law enforcement. The data collection takes into account the following information on suicides and attempted suicides:
The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program is responsible for handling the data collection. As part of the Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Act confidentiality is very important so the data collection will not obtain any information that directly identifies an individual.
The data we cover in this article is based on information submitted by 36 different law enforcement agencies across the country. Out of this information there was a total of 52 suicides reported and 13 attempted suicides among law enforcement personnel.
Out of the 52 suicides 25 percent of the individuals were cited to have relationship problems, 23.1 percent were suffering from depression and 51.9 percent had been suffering from burnout/secondary trauma collapse, chronic illness, and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Out of the 52 suicides 25 percent of agencies reported there was an absence of warning signs or indications to colleagues or the agency prior to the suicide.
Out of the 13 attempted suicides 53.8 percent of the individuals cited feelings of hopelessness, rage, anger or anxiety at the time of the attempted suicide. 69.2 percent were suffering from depression, 61.5 percent had relationship problems and 38.5 percent had experienced increased isolation.
For more information and resources related Law Enforcement Suicide visit the National Suicide Awareness for Law Enforcement Officers Program (SAFLEO).