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Police Suicide - The Ultimate Copout?

NCJ Number
E C Donovan; E N Smith
Date Published
0 pages
The complex and interrelated causes of police suicide and its prevention are discussed in this interview with Edward C. Donovan, dirctor of the Boston Police Stress Program, and founder of the International Law Enforcement Stress Association.
Police suicide, often underreported because of the stigma attached, is heavily alcohol-related, according to Edward Donovan. Marital problems are another primary cause of both heavy drinking problems are another primary cause of both heavy drinking and suicide. The Boston Police Stress Program emphasizes a holistic approach to suicide prevention, using spouse involvement, peer counseling, referrals, therapy, and physical fitness. Counselors often seek out police officers and use listening techniques as a way of reaching and helping troubled officers. The program is located away from police department headquarters and emphasizes informality and confidentiality of information. Other subjects covered in the interview include warning signs of suicide, causes of police stress, the importance of referrals from fellow police officers, the cost-effectiveness of stress programs, and the goals of the International Law Enforcement Stress Association and of the Police Stress Magazine, both of which were founded by Edward Donovan. He recommends that police departments institute mandatory training to alleviate stress and that greater support be given police officers from families, physicians, and the community. An address is given for individuals who want to obtain other tapes in the series.


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