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Blue Wall of Silence

Perceptions of the Influence of Training on Law Enforcement Suicide

by Olivia N. Johnson

eBook PDF

Publisher: Dissertation.com
Pub date: 2010
Pages: 203
ISBN-10: 1599423235
ISBN-13: 9781599423234
Categories: PsychologyPsychologySocial Science

Abstract

Suicide has been declared an epidemic and rates of suicide increase within occupational subcultures experiencing increased levels of stress and trauma, such as law enforcement. Explored in the qualitative phenomenological study were the lived experiences of White, male law enforcement officers concerning perceptions of care by administrators and peers and the influence of mental health training in the incidence of officer suicide. The study population was chosen because of the resemblance to the segment of the general population deemed at-risk for suicide. Officers provided perceptions of care in dealing with difficult situations, police culture, police training, and police suicide. Interviews allowed officers to reveal perceptions and beliefs about the affects of training on perceptions of care and on the incidence of officer suicide. Officer interviews revealed five major themes and two minor themes. Major themes included stress, stress relief, trust/loyalty, training, and change. Minor themes included generational issues and organizational administration. The largest stressor for the study population included crimes and incidents against children. The results of the study can help further educate administrators and officers about the emotional dangers facing law enforcement officers and the importance of organizational administration in assisting officers in acknowledging and overcoming issues concerning mental health.

About the Author

Dr. Olivia Johnson is a federal police officer with the Veteran's Administration located in St. Louis, Missouri and is the Illinois State Representative for the National Police Suicide Foundation.