"The work and research being done at the National Law Enforcement Suicide Mortality Database [LE-SMD] is so important in saving the lives of those who serve, and will lead us into the prevention phase of this epidemic. This research will help identify those issues and a major level that are impacting the personal and professional lives of law enforcement officers so that the health care system can adapt and change to treat those issues that will ultimately change the lives of so many.
We are so proud to partner with Blue Wall Institute and this initiative."
President and Founder
Safe Call Now
Dr. Olivia Johnson’s National Law Enforcement Suicide Mortality Database [LE-SMD] contains actual verified law enforcement and corrections officer suicide deaths, non-fatal attempts, and overdose deaths. This is going to be a HUGE breakthrough that Law Enforcement has needed for so long.
This database will be the beginning of answers to how we will address and end officer suicide! Future research will continue to help find answers to this tragic death. It is our hope that all first responders get the assistance they may need before suicide seems like a viable option. #endofficersuicide
Nichole Alvarez, Ph.D.
California State Representative
Research and Development Director
National Police Suicide Foundation
The public health problem of suicide and the increasing rates over the past decade cut across gender, age, race, and socioeconomic status. We have found that mental illness and mental health conditions are not always connected directly to suicidal behavior. In our criminal justice system, we have been watching the incidents of suicide among law enforcement officers increase dramatically. In light of the recent social, political, and public health concerns, our law enforcement agencies have been faced with significant complications with their positions which underscores the importance to study police suicide rates, as well as overall officer wellness issues.
The LE-SMD will provide necessary data required for a thorough examination of this topic from many perspectives. This data will provide criminal justice practitioners, researchers, and students collaborative opportunities to work on this critical issue. The research will assist with training for officers not only in the academy but new training initiatives throughout their careers. Addressing significant topics like secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, anxiety, suicide, and its impact on officer wellness (physical, emotional, and psychological), will create a possible new educational programming focus.
As Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice & Security at Pace University in New York, this opportunity to analyze such critical data will provide our students with a greater sense of knowledge on the subject of police suicide and officer wellness. I am so excited to be able to participate in this project to enhance not only my own knowledge base but strengthen my students understanding of this area of research as they enter into this field.
Cathryn F. Lavery, MS, PhD
Professor of Criminal Justice
Chair, Department of Criminal Justice & Security
My awareness of the suicide rate within law enforcement became heightened following the 2018 suicide of my brother, Jon. As an Assistant State’s Attorney for nearly 20 years, my brother and his colleagues worked very closely with law-enforcement when investigating murders and other heinous crimes. Most people do not realize the trauma, often considered secondary trauma, experienced within the broader criminal justice profession.
While individuals such as my brother do not exactly fall within the demographic being tracked here, the National Law Enforcement Suicide Mortality Database [LE-SMD] will certainly provide insights into the broader problem and ideally will lead to better training and other support programs across the entire criminal justice profession.
Since the launch of my organization, I have had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with Dr. Olivia Johnson through the St. Clair County IL Suicide Prevention Alliance, as well as other focused initiatives. I am thrilled that she is spearheading this initiative and my organization will learn much from it in order to better raise awareness and develop support programs.
The Tenth Man – A Jon Allard Jr. Legacy