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Doctoral Project Abstract

Police Suicide Awareness Training Model for the Harris County Sheriff's Office

Donald Savell
Regent University

National statistics show that police officers are 2-3 times more likely to take their own life than being killed in the line of duty. With that being said, the Harris County Sheriff's Office has taken a proactive approach in the area of "Police Suicide Awareness". In being prepared for the possibility of a deputy committing suicide and the resulting grief reaction, this police suicide training model will be implemented within our 3500 member department. Less than 1% of the 14,000 law enforcement agencies across the United States have a "Police Suicide Awareness," training model and the Harris County Sheriff's Office has a desire to "Model the Way" in this area of training.

The training model includes blocks of instruction in , Historical roots of Law Enforcement's response to suicide, stress (Physical & Psychological),stress in Law Enforcement, overview of CISM/PTSD, identifying the Problem of Police Suicide, response to the Problem, how to Handle a Suicidal Officer, communication Skills for Dealing with a Suicidal Individual, when a Suicide Occurs (Issues & Responsibilities of Officer & Agency), resources, issues of Survivors (Financial & Emotional Needs) and breaking the Blue Wall of Silence.

The opportunity is available for a proactive approach to training and communication in the area of police suicide. This proactive stance has required the leadership within the Harris County Sheriff's Office to demonstrate the desire for a cultural change to take place within our organization and they have responded by embracing this change and not rejecting it. Make no mistake, "It's all about LEADERSHIP."


For more information regarding this project please contact glepublications@regent.edu