Last year, more law enforcement officers died from suicide than in the line-of-duty. Sadly, suicide rates are thought to be much higher than reported—it’s widely accepted that police suicide is woefully under-reported, especially when counting those—like my husband—who commit suicide after retiring.
My husband, David Colegrove, was a law enforcement officer for 30 years. He killed himself in 2014, less than three months after he retired. Since his suicide, I’ve learned a lot about trauma, post-traumatic stress, secondary trauma, hypervigilance, and the common predictors of suicide among law enforcement professionals and other first responders.
First and foremost, I’ve realized that my husband and I were sitting smack dab in the middle of all of that, and we didn’t even know it. David carried a tremendous amount of trauma that had roots in his early years, grew exponentially throughout his police career, and affected all areas of his life.
In Public Safety, August 3, 2018