Officer Suicide Statistics
Since January 1, 2016, 1st H.E.L.P. has been compiling a list of first responders lost to suicide; this information includes corrections and federal officers of all duty status. In 2019, 1st H.E.L.P. began collecting suicide data on all first responders; firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and 911 Telecommunicators are honored for their service.
We only post with permission!
We do not post the names and faces of all officers without permission of the family. Suicide is a different type of death and grief, while we work with Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), we cannot create a page like theirs because of the privacy requested by the families. We will not betray their trust.
We do not pull coroner reports or medical records. In some case, permission of the family is required and there is a fee associated with it. While we engage researchers to assist us, we are not a research organization and use this information for awareness and family support.
Our numbers are rolling numbers, as new deaths and data points are reported, the number is adjusted accordingly.
More about how and what we collect
- We now collect data for ALL first responder suicides – Fire, EMS, Dispatch, Police and Corrections.
- Most of our submissions were submitted by family, co-workers and friends through this online submission form. The form was published regularly on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ by public, private, local, national and international law enforcement pages and supporters. It is also included in the content of multiple articles written for various on-line publications.
- Other suicides were found through internet searches, Facebook posts and messages to our email and Facebook messenger.
- Weekly Google alerts are received which show results containing key phrases
- Every 3 months, we searched the internet using the same key words for any that we may have missed.
- Every 3 months we re-checked every suicide we had collected to date.
- We contacted the department of public health in 5 states and none were able to provide much information, so we abandoned this method.
- Any submissions that could not be verified OR were not from a known, trusted source, have been removed.
- Some of the “Comments” were pulled from internet articles and obituaries.
“Recent event” reflects something that happened with 60 days of the suicide.
- Our data is a raw number of suicides reported to us, there are no assumptions made.
- Some information remains “unknown” as the families are only willing to provide basic information, we have been asked not to contact the family for follow up or, there is no contact information listed when the information is only partially submitted.
- We do not record “how they heard about us” so we cannot say which method worked best. We did receive multiple submissions on many of the suicides, so we know that we were reaching more than one person in certain regions.
- When we began data collection in 2016, we would receive notification of the suicide weeks, and sometimes months, afterward. As of January 1, 2020, 80% of the suicides we receive are within hours of the deaths.
- In addition to the data points on the submission form, 19 other data points are collected from the families and/or departments.
Data collection points are as follows and can be seen on our form:
- Manner of Death
- Date of Death
- Name of Department
- Age at time of death
- Duty Status
- Years of Service
- Year left force
- Was the officer under investigation?
- Number of Children?
- Were there prior suicide attempts?
- Was it a murder/suicide?
- # of Children
- Had the officer sought help?
- Off/ On Duty
- Was there a history of job related
- Military Veteran