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Law enforcement suicides on rise across US

DENVER -- The Denver Sheriff's Department is grieving after one of their deputies committed suicide this week.

Law enforcement suicide is an issue that is often not talked about but it is one on the rise across the country.

"What goes through my mind is not another one," Karen Solomon, the founder of BLUE H.E.L.P said.

BLUE H.E.L.P. is a national organization that tracks law enforcement suicides. 

Thus far in 2018, 151 officers have committed suicide. In December alone 14 have committed suicide - on track to be the most ever in a month since BLUE H.E.L.P. starting tracking numbers.

Solomon says her numbers aren't even the entire story -- many departments do not report when an officer kills themselves.

"We have a lot of people tell us they had a suicide at their dept and their chief doesn't want to acknowledge it. They weren't allowed to wear a uniform to the funeral," Solomon said.

The Denver Police Department is acutely aware of the nationwide problem.

"We are taking our own life more than we are being killed by perpetrators," Sgt. Bobby Waidler with the Denver Police Department said.

Waidler helps run the Department's Peer to Peer program -- which encourages officer to talk to other officers about issues they may be dealing with.

"Sometimes we all need a little bit of help we need a lifeline to throw us a life preserver that's what peer support is for," Waidler added.

But still a stigma with seeking help exists among law enforcement.

"Years ago that was the approach if you had something bad happen just suck it up and have a beer," John Nicoletti, a police psychologist, said.

Nicoletti says more and more officers are seeking help but recent numbers indicate more clearly need assistance.

"Officers see so many things and each time they see something it forms the "Book of the Dead" and you get so many chapters in it and it starts to become overwhelming, Nicoletti added.

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