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fifth San Antonio police officer dies from suicide in final 7 months, consultants weigh in: ‘Cease the demonization’

This story discusses suicide. Should you or somebody you realize is having ideas of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Disaster Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

A 30-year-old Texas police officer in San Antonio dedicated suicide in early October, marking the fifth suicide within the division by an officer or lately retired officer previously seven months, which consultants inform Fox Information Digital is a stark reminder of the rising struggles police face doing their jobs amid the defund the police motion that has demonized officers nationwide.

San Antonio Police Officer Jordan Hammond, a five-year veteran of the drive, died from suicide on the age of 30 final week, KENS-TV reported. A spokesperson for the division confirmed to the outlet that Hammond’s dying is the fifth suicide within the division within the final seven months. 4 of the 5 deaths had been active-duty officers and the fifth was an officer who retired two weeks earlier than his dying.

Tania Glenn, a trauma therapist within the Austin, Texas, space for 30 years and president of Tania Glenn and Associates, which focuses on offering psychological well being companies to first responders and veterans, instructed Fox Information Digital that the demonization of police by the media and politicians has performed a big position in crushing legislation enforcement morale nationwide.


They’ve a very massive metropolis with loads of violence, they usually have been coping with the media portrayals of legislation enforcement people as demons,” Glenn stated. “They usually have type of been lower off from society and interesting in making individuals proud of “espresso with a cop” and issues like that. All these items have actually come to a screeching halt between the pandemic and what occurred after George Floyd. So, they’re remoted. Their psychological well being is struggling, the trauma is compounding, and it is simply this excellent storm for what’s taking place there.

Glenn, who wrote a guide for the youngsters of cops known as “Protected However Scared” within the aftermath of the 2014 Ferguson riots that she says noticed a rise in gross sales following the dying of George Floyd, defined to Fox Information Digital that the Floyd riots in 2020 had a big impact on the psychological well being of not solely officers however their households as effectively.

“You take a look at what number of legislation enforcement wives had been taking the Skinny Blue Line stickers off their vehicles as a result of they did not wish to be hunted down or harassed or have their vehicles keyed, and simply listening in [to] a few of these Fb teams, the dialog and the chat of even the members of the family, it is only a huge, huge accumulation of stress that is impacting the psychological well being of all of the officers and their households,” Glenn stated.


Both Democratic lawmakers and members of the media have pushed the movement to defund police.

Each Democratic lawmakers and members of the media have pushed the motion to defund police.
(Erik McGregor/LightRocket through Getty Pictures)

Glenn, referencing for example the plummeting police morale in close by Austin, the place the town council voted to defund the police in 2020, acknowledged that the demonization of police compounds even additional when elected officers take part on the demonization of police that has been prevalent throughout media shops.

Glenn identified how native officers throughout the nation had been “mindblowingly” marching alongside with lots of the anti-police protesters, which she says “completely” impacts the psychological well being of officers who’re put in a scenario the place they imagine their leaders don’t have the backs of officers who do the correct factor.


When there’s nobody there to assist you and nobody actually has your again aside from fellow officers, then they are saying, ‘Why do I do that?’” Glenn stated. “‘And why do I hold going?’ And concurrently to all of that, I feel all of that, if their psychological well being is beginning to undergo and their serotonin ranges are off, they usually do not see life when it comes to the large image that if we transfer by way of this course of, issues could get higher, or I can discover different choices in my life.”

“It comes right down to the truth that all they see is that suicide is the one possibility and their mind and melancholy does this terrible factor. It actually methods you into believing that individuals shall be higher off with out you, which, after all, can’t be farther from the reality,” Glenn continued.

Darron Phillips, a 28-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Division who served in a wide range of roles together with as a bomb technician and a detective, instructed Fox Information Digital that officers courting again to when he was on the drive generally tend to internalize trauma and stressors from the job.


A protester holds a sign that says "Defend the Police" during a pro-police protest.

A protester holds an indication that claims “Defend the Police” throughout a pro-police protest.
(Getty Pictures)

One of many first issues I used to be instructed as a younger patrolman is do not you dare ever even name your sergeant if in case you have a problem,” Phillips stated. You name a senior patrolman over there, and also you go to him first, and if he cannot determine it out, then you definately name the sergeant. Sergeants didn’t wish to be bothered in 1988 with a patrolman’s little crap, so it already begins a tradition the place you sort of internalize stuff, and you retain it in-house.”

Phillips additionally acknowledged that the George Floyd political motion “actually hurts police work” and pointed to the way in which social media has doubtlessly left younger individuals with out communication expertise and remoted individuals from society.

Moreover, Phillips stated that traumatic mind accidents like continual traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD) have grow to be extra of an element within the police drive in the present day.

He instructed Fox Information Digital that the “Ferguson impact,” the speculation that crime charges improve when cops hesitate or pull again from policing because of demonization and mistrust from the media and politicians, is “completely 100% true.”


Pro-police protesters carry a Blue Lives Matter flag at a protest.

Professional-police protesters carry a Blue Lives Matter flag at a protest.
(Erik McGregor/LightRocket through Getty Pictures)

“They had been instructed, don’t run search warrants, don’t break anyone’s door down,” Phillips stated about orders given to officers within the San Antonio space lately. “If you are going to need to do a search warrant, it’s important to wait the suspect out, and it’s important to return to the home and also you higher have your physique cameras on and higher not break down a door. So, the Ferguson impact is not simply cops not desirous to do their job. It is the pinnacle of the division that does not need you to do your jobs.”

“They [department leaders] do not wish to get the media of their face asking them why they allowed their officers to shoot this poor individual, so it isn’t simply the officers as a result of it’s true the officers are scared as a result of they know they [leadership] will not get their again. However not solely that, most police departments are frightened of the media.”

Phillips stated that police staffing in San Antonio has not adequately stored up with the inhabitants increase within the metropolis over the previous few many years, which provides to the stress of police work.

“We had 780,000 individuals once I received on the division,” Phillips stated. “We now have 1.2 million individuals and have the identical variety of officers. You can not do this. You need to have X quantity of officers per capita.”

Glenn echoed Phillip’s sentiment {that a} stigma can generally be connected to psychological well being and officers reporting points with melancholy, alcoholism or drug abuse to superior officers. 

“Officers, by the very nature of their job, they’re at all times inserted into the worst days of individuals’s lives,” Glenn stated, including that oftentimes officers see others committing suicide and are subconsciously drawn to going that route themselves attributable to melancholy and hopelessness making it appear that suicide is the one manner out.


San Antonio Police Department vehicle

San Antonio Police Division automobile
(San Antonio Police Division)

“On this scenario, with San Antonio, it actually does occur that one officer takes his or her life, after which there’s steadily a sequence response,” Glenn stated. “Officers which were considering this steadily determine to do it as a result of there’s this incident that occurred, and it occurs in households the place loads of households have simply technology after technology the place there’s suicide. And we all know that children whose mother and father take their lives, they are much extra more likely to take theirs after they start to battle, and it is the identical factor with the police departments. When one officer does it and generally others observe.

The SAPD says that the record of officers who died consists of Officer Paul Carreon, who died in April after 19 years of service, Officer Paul Zavala, who served for 28 years and died two weeks after retiring in June, Officer Justin Garcia, who died in August after serving six years, and Detective Frank Rodriguez, who died in September after 15 years of service.

The San Antonio police didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from Fox Information Digital.


When requested by Fox Information Digital what metropolis leaders can do instantly going ahead to deal with the problems with suicides, Glenn stated that publicly supporting legislation enforcement is an effective first step.

“I might say to anyone excessive up in authorities to cease fearing the repercussions of standing behind your cops and get behind them and begin to assist them,” Glenn stated. “You do not simply throw cash on the downside, however what you do is you pull collectively the most effective assets you can. You stand behind your officers, and naturally, proceed to offer the most effective coaching you’ll be able to. There must be a large, huge effort on recruiting, so we will construct again our numbers and improve the morale. However the secret is cease the demonization of the career and to shortly transfer to get again behind our cops and to assist them.”


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