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LAPD Suicide Rate Declines

by Kevin Caruso

March 26, 2008

The suicide rate among Los Angeles police officers has decreased by more than 20 percent since 1998, but officers are still more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty, according to a report presented to the Police Commission. The report indicated that 19 LAPD officers died by suicide between 1998 and 2007, and 24 died by suicide between 1990 and 1998.

The study was conducted by police psychologists who are in the process of improving the department’s suicide prevention program.

The report also indicated that suicide rates among police officers in Los Angeles are lower than police officers is San Diego, but higher than those in New York and Chicago.

Kevin Jablonski, chief psychiatrist for the LAPD, said that high police suicide rates stems from the mental anguish that officers endure when policing dangerous streets. “When you interact day after day, hour after hour with either the victims of crime or the perpetrators of crime, you start thinking this world is dangerous, this world is violent,” he said. “It's depressing.”

The LAPD has 19 psychologists who provide counseling to officers, evaluating some 800 individuals every year.

The revamped suicide prevention program will include new suicide prevention training for supervisors and will provide officers with materials designed to help them recognize signs of depression and urge them to seek help when they need it.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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