SUICIDE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: PROTECTING THOSE WHO SERVE
Bernier, Raymond J.
Chatterjee, Anshu N.
Kiernan, Kathleen L.
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The goal of this thesis was to identify effective suicide prevention protocols currently being used by law enforcement that can help leadership meet their organizations’ needs. The research also reviewed suicide prevention protocols used by the military since both occupations are intrinsically connected by the psychological maladies they endure. Specifically, the thesis examined the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program and the Montreal police department’s Together for Life suicide prevention program. Both programs used longitudinal studies that combined several suicide prevention protocols into their overall strategies. Metadata from each case study show that combining suicide prevention protocols creates a synergistic effect that results in fewer suicides over a measured period. Although the thesis also examined the effectiveness of individual protocols employed independently—including pre-employment psychological screenings, gatekeeper training, peer support programs, and employee assistance programs—this research was limited by insufficient metadata. Through a critical review of suicide prevention case studies and initiatives, this thesis identified best practices that may be tailored to the needs of law enforcement and the military.
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