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At least 228 current or former police officers died by suicide in 2019, surpassing the number of on-duty deaths, with New York state leading with 27 self-inflicted deaths recorded among its law enforcement, according to newly released data.
Blue H.E.L.P., a Massachusetts-based advocacy group dedicated to bringing awareness to suicide and mental health issues among police officers, says 2019 saw the highest number of suicides among cops since the group began collecting data in 2016.
Time - Period - Officers - Lives - Duty
During the same time period, 132 officers nationwide lost their lives while on duty.
While on-duty deaths decreased 20 per cent since 2018, the number of suicides went up 35 per cent, according to the non-profit group.
Officers - Lives - New - York - California
At least 27 active or recently retired officers took their lives in New York, followed by 23 in California, 19 in Texas and 15 in Florida.
In all, 39 of the 50 states had at least one police officer death by suicide in 2019.
Majority - Cops - Lives - Cent - Cent
The overwhelming majority of cops who took their own lives - 90 per cent - were male, and more than 80 per cent were white.
'While it's disheartening to see these numbers rise, we can't be sure that suicides are on the rise or if they are being reported more accurately,' Karen Solomon, co-founder of Blue H.E.L.P., stated in a press release.
Data - Advocacy - Group - Number - Police
Although the data gathered by the advocacy group seems to point to a rising number of police suicides, organizers stress that the higher numbers could be indicative of families' greater willingness to come forward and report their loved one's suicide.
'We can’t be sure that suicides are on the rise or if they are being reported more accurately,' Solomon noted in her statement.
Thursday - Afternoon - Blue - HELP - Website
As of Thursday afternoon, Blue H.E.L.P.'s website has reported two officer suicides so far in 2020.
The NYPD, which boasts the...
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