“Every officer reading this knows it’s true. But what do we do? Nothing. We are trained to have answers, to hide weakness, and to control situations. We are the ones who respond when help is needed. So we cover it up. We hide our emotions, gloss over the problems and hope we can ride it out. Any attempt to seek out help voluntarily results in a stigma and is essentially a career killer for us. If we end up having an emotional breakdown and are ordered off duty, we are marginalized and abandoned. We have witnessed this happen to friends and colleagues before us.”
Anonymous, but frank and honest. While this career is a choice, sometimes I feel made for personal fulfillment rather than a desire to serve and protect, it’s important to have supports in place because the reality of this experience when lived professionally is quite difficult. Like most people in dominant culture, there is a stigma that comes when officers seek help, when showing any ‘weakness’, when dealing with increased signs of mental illness. The solution is not to shame these individuals then put them in a crisis situation with a deadly weapon. We’re all human and deserve compassion and a chance at understanding.
What are your thoughts?