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Police Suicide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 30,000 people die by suicide in the United States each year. The topic of suicide by law enforcement officers prompts controversy among those in the mental health and law enforcement communities, as questions of cause and influence come into play. Some experts claim that a breakdown in relationships is what leads to suicide among officers. Others argue that it is the inherent stressors of the job that breaks down an officer’s resilience and adaptive coping resources, which in turn leads the officer to take his or her own life. In this entry, several issues that may contribute to police suicide are considered.

Although the media portrays high numbers of suicide within law enforcement, some researchers dispute ...

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