families of Law Enforcement Officers often experience heartbreak as these officers endure significant trauma. It should be easier for them to access the necessary help. Unfortunately, these families may have been unaware of the struggles because they didn’t see it coming. In the case of Kyle, he suddenly expressed a desire to end his life.
This incident, along with four other suicides involving former and current employees of the LA County Sheriff’s Department within two days, may come as a shock to most people. However, Laura Linder, the founder of the nonprofit exclusive First Responders, was not surprised. She had already recognized this sad reality within law enforcement, where they often talk about the brotherhood and being there for each other.
But when a weakness is detected in an individual, they are ostracized and abandoned. Resources are not made known to family members, leaving them unaware of who to reach out to in times of crisis. In seeking help for her husband, Michaela Sword, Kyle’s wife, felt that this important information should be more widely disseminated among family members.
Unfortunately, her husband was eventually forced out of the department because he sought help. Many officers, whom Christina Cory, a retired Santa Monica Police Officer, never expected to contemplate suicide, have spoken about their struggles with their identities, finances, relationships, and addictions.
These officers face numerous challenges that their departments are not adequately addressing. They suffer from job-related trauma, lack public support, encounter family and financial troubles, sustain injuries on the job, experience a sense of abandonment after being injured, face a lack of financial compensation, receive insufficient support from superiors, are forced into medical retirement, and struggle with a loss of self after retirement.
We cannot comprehend the daily horrors that these officers encounter, and it is disheartening that many of them did not receive the help they desperately sought. A spokesperson for the LA County Sheriff’s Department revealed that, so far this year, eight individuals have died by suicide.
This news is incredibly alarming..