Monday, November 11, 2013

Counseling for Law Enforcement

In the news today is a report concerning an officer in Ohio who, it appears, committed suicide.

This on the same day that we had been discussing commemorative badges with an agency seeking to remember an officer who also had committed suicide.

In recent years there have been a number of news items on the high rate of suicide in the law enforcement community, particularly among corrections officers.  It has been reported that law enforcement officers are four times more likely to commit suicide than to be killed in the line of duty.

Four times more likely to commit suicide than to be killed in the line of duty.  That’s a chilling statistic.

To help reduce the suicide rate, corrections departments are today focusing on mental health issues, beginning at the recruitment stage, and corrections officers are being offered more counseling options today than were available in prior years.

Counseling has also become available through the police departments and through the unions.  It is no small matter; suicide among law enforcement officers far too often either leaves behind young spouses and children, or, in the most tragic of cases, causes young family members perish also.

Cop2Cop is among the programs created to address these concerns.  A 24-hour hotline for officers and their families, New Jersey’s Cop2Cop program was established in 2000 and was the first of its kind in the nation.  The Cop2Cop hotline is answered by retired law enforcement volunteers and clinicians with a deep understanding of officers' concerns, problems and family issues, and who are trained in critical stress management.

The Cop2Cop hotline  is available exclusively for law enforcement officers and their families to help deal with any immediate need.  It can be a crisis. It can be just a simple question. It doesn’t matter.

Cop2Cop was developed in response to a rash of police suicides in the late 1990s.  Despite the program’s successes, suicide rates remain unacceptably high.  Support, counseling and referral programs such as Cop2Cop are as important as they have ever been.

The number for Cop2Cop is 1-866-COP-2COP (1-866-267-2267).

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Five-Finger Two-Fer

In the news today we learn that here in New Jersey a guy arrested for shoplifting from one store on Saturday was caught with trying to shoplift from another store in the same town later that same day.

An hour after being charged and released on the first caper he was taken into custody for the second.

The second charge will carry just a bit more weight thanks to this crook’s brilliance.  Because he assaulted store security while attempting to flee, he has been charged with robbery.

But, since he has posted bail and been released again, he could go for the hat trick...