Police officers, deputies, troopers, and anyone in law enforcement has an extremely difficult job that takes a toll their physical, mental, and emotional health. And experts say police suicides now outnumber line of duty deaths.
Dr. David Thomas is a former police officer and teaches Criminal Justice at Florida Gulf Coast University. He said not only are officers investigating really heavy, heartbreaking crimes on a regular basis, but also, they're under a lot of pressure, with eyes constantly on them. Dr. Thomas said it's important to remember that on top of all of this, they're regular people, too.
"A police officer is always expected to be at his or her best every time they go to work. Nobody recognizes that they have a family crisis and they're going through divorce, or they've lost a significant other, or family member or someone close to them has died. They don't recognize police officers have financial issues. None of that stuff the rest of the world has is not supposed to happen to this group," Dr. Thomas said.
Dr. Thomas is a published author. His most recent work, The State of American Policing, goes even deeper into this subject.
If you are struggling, there is help available. There's a hotline you can call for free help 24/7. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Line is 1-800-273-8255. You can also text 'TALK' to 741741 for free.