By Tom Hays, The Washington Post, October 24, 2019
A law enforcement think tank wants police departments dealing with a suicide crisis in their ranks to rethink how they make one of their toughest decisions: when to take guns away from troubled officers.
The recommendation to review gun-removal policies is contained in a new report by the Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum released in anticipation of a gathering of police chiefs this weekend in Chicago. It aims to help law enforcement agencies respond to a spate of officer suicides this year in New York City and elsewhere around the country. A comparison of national statistics kept by nonprofit organizations shows that more law enforcement officers have died this year by their own hand than in the line of duty.
Last week, an off-duty sergeant became the 10th New York Police Department officer so far this year to take his own life, nine of them with a gun. Also last week, an officer in Maryland killed himself with a gun.