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Preventing Police Suicides

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 (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

In the last two months, two Oakland police officers have fatally shot themselves. While the causes are unclear, the deaths have focused attention on the issue of police suicides. Studies have shown that police officers are at an increased risk for suicide, and that they are often hesitant to seek help. We discuss what's being done to help law enforcement officers cope with the stress and trauma of the job.


John M. Violanti, research professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo

Brian Cahill, retired executive director of San Francisco Catholic Charities and volunteer suicide prevention trainer with the San Francisco Police Department; his son John Cahill, a San Jose police officer, committed suicide in 2008

Sgt. Mary Dunnigan, officer in charge of San Francisco Police Department's behavioral unit