Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:23
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 12:40
As we pause to honor our law enforcement officers during National Police week this may, Let us think about those who have gone before us not because they were killed on the job, but because they took their own lives because of the job. These are the ones we don't talk about or honor because their death wasn't a "Line of Duty" death. That makes it not seem so honorable. Yet their service to their communit was outstanding. Their careers were marked with commendations. They put their lives on the line every single day. Yet something troubled them deep inside. They couldn't seek help, that would make them appear weak. They couldn't tell their partners, cops just keep everything inside. Some are stronger minded than others, they can live with it, some can't.
We need to spend as much time and money on their mental health as we do on all the other training the rceive on a regular basis. We need to make them never fear asking for help. To never worry that their careers will be infringed upon, that someone will find out and they will be thought of as a mental case, or worse. We need to let them know we care.
SUICIDE: Not something anyone really wants to talk about. I know first hand the ramifications of this ugly word.
We want our cops to be there for us at a moments notice, night and day, no matter what.. And the ARE! But do we ever put a moments thought into what life is like for them? The reason i believe psychological counseling should be mandatory for all law enforcement officers is simple. Their daily routine consist of all the ugly horrors of life. They see it, they smell it, they breathe it. They take it with them wherever they g. They are too tough to ask for help and they dont want anyone to know that they hurt. Its too embarrassing. Historically, police officers have been ridiculed for getting help. That would make them "appear weak" . Anyway, that's what my husband told me. and "It will ruin my career".. So instead of getting help, he put a .380 to his chest and pulled the trigger.
We expect our cops to put their lives on the line every day on the job, we expect them to be up to date with all their training. Know the newest technology to solve crimes, drive the best equipped vehicle, carry the most reliable equipment. yet, we never once think about the mental health. We ask them to work shifts that take an extra 10 years off their life, we never think about their emotional health.
Why shouldn't their minds be as sharp as their knowledge? Why shouldn't they feel comfortable asking for help?
Suicide, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, domestic violence are all things that are widespread among law enforcement. Does anyone every wonder why?
This is one of the most stressful careers a man or a woman can choose. There should be safeguards in place so that these servants of our country can be saved. If one life can be saved because of my writings, because of my attempts to have a law passed, then my work will be worth it.
No one wants to find their life partner in a pool of blood on the living room floor. I didn't, but it happened. I watched my husband die right in front of me and there was nothing i could do. I will never know that if he had gotten help this would not have happened. However, I know that he didn't get help because he was afraid. I want every law enforcement officer in this country to never be afraid again.
Rebecca M. Donahue
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:26
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:10
My name is Matthew Barlow. I am an American heavy metal vocalist who has performed with the bands ICED EARTH (1994-2003 and 2007-2011) and PYRAMAZE (2007-2008). I have performed vocals on six studio albums, two live albums /DVDs, and multiple compilation and tribute albums. I am also a law enforcement officer.
I grew up in the town of Georgetown, Delaware, which is about 80 miles east of Washington D.C. In 2004, I was given the honor of becoming a sworn officer with the Georgetown Police Department. My goal to become a police officer started shortly after the events of 9/11/2001, the day that affected most every American and a large portion of the world. On that morning, I was preparing to get on a tour bus. ICED EARTH was about to start out for California to meet up with JUDAS PRIEST as support for their U.S. tour. For reasons that were all too apparent, that tour never happened. My feelings and thought processes took a definite turn that day, but not in the way others may have. I simply began to think of the life that my wife and I wanted, but had not yet realized; the children that we wanted, but did not yet have; and the understanding that this precious time we have on Earth is finite and fleeting. I thought that there must be a way that we could have the family we wanted, and I could serve my country and community as my family had.
When I was given the opportunity to attend the Delaware State Police Academy in September 2003, I considered it an absolute honor. When I graduated from the academy in February 2004, it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Since then, it has been my privilege to work with the dedicated and proud men and woman of law enforcement. That dedication, love, and loyalty was never more evident to me than after my brother officer, Patrolman Chad E. Spicer, was killed in the line of duty on September 1, 2009. The outpouring of support for Chad’s family, in both law enforcement and civilian community, was tremendous. I know that the support for Chad’s daughter and family will continue in his honor.
It is my hope that the work that Fallen Blue is doing will help the families of our fallen brothers and sisters. These men and woman that have passed, though not in the line of duty, dedicated their lives to the betterment and security of their country and community. They too, deserve our respect and support for the families they leave behind.
Cpl. Matthew Barlow