Law enforcement veterans fear suicides are on the rise

St. Louis officers are reaching out after an officer suicide in Kansas City

Megan Lynch
February 14, 2019 - 5:00 am

(Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS/Sipa USA)


St. Louis, MO (KMOX)  - The suicide of a Kansas City police officer has a local group pleading for other men and women in uniform to seek help.

"We are doubling and maybe even tripling the number of officers killed by suicide than by violence," points out Tom Lake.  Lake is Vice President of Project Hurt, a group formed to help policemen and women cope with the mental aspect of their work.

So far this year 33 officers across the country have taken their own lives.  That's compared to 15 nationwide who have died in the line of duty.

Lake is a Sgt. with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, with more than 20 years on the force.  "We are just as human as everybody else and the stressors in police work can become overwhelming.  There's only so many dead bodies, dead children, car accidents, domestic violence scenes you can go to before it starts to take its toll on you."

Lake says many officers are hesitant to seek help through their departments for fear it will impact their standing or somehow effect their agency.  He says Project Hurt is safe place for them to turn to talk about stress and traumatic events.

For more information, check out ​Project Hurt on Facebook