Suicide in Law Enforcement

The FBI's Behavioral Science Unit released a compendium entitled "Suicide and Law Enforcement." It is a comprehensive look at suicide and its impact on law enforcement. Police officer suicide comprises the main focus of the book but other aspects of law enforcement-related suicide receives attention, as well. As first responders, police officers often become vicarious victims of citizen suicide. The cumulative effect of multiple exposures to these experiences can have pronounced negative results on police officers' families in addition to the individual law enforcement officers. Suicide By Cop receives extensive attention because of the devastating effect such an act can have on a conscientious officer who lawfully uses deadly force on a person whose motive is self-destruction.Suicide in Law Enforcement

The book consists of 61 articles divided into 6 sections entitled: Organizational Approaches; Psychological Approaches; Behavioral Approaches; Quantitative Approaches; Alternate Approaches and Suicide By Cop. Not every article fits neatly into a particular category but the sections do help organize the vast amount of material the authors so generously shared with the law enforcement community.

The report is a collaborative effort drawing from the strengths of a cross-section of the leading experts on suicide. Contributing to the report were professionals in the disciplines of criminal justice, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, victim advocacy, and public health. It is being distributed to several thousand law enforcement agencies to strengthen training in suicide awareness and prevention.

In an effort to examine this multifaceted problem, the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit hosted a Suicide and Law Enforcement Conference, during September 1999, at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The week-long conference brought together a diverse group of professionals with vastly different perspectives to exchange views and lend their expertise to the law enforcement community. The result was a compilation of articles which are incorporated in this book. The contributing authors addressed many of the areas of concern; delineated problems; discussed prevention; recommended training and suggested organizational responses. It emphasizes awareness, prevention and intervention.

A DVD copy of book "Suicide in Law Enforcement" is available through the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit by calling 703-632-1146.

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