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Over 1,200 Public Safety Personnel Died By Suicide Over Seven Years

More than 1,200 public safety personnel died by suicide over a seven-year period, according to a report released by a nonprofit organization that tracks such cases, ABC News reports. From 2016 to 2022, there were 1,287 law enforcement and corrections officers who died by suicide, according to the First HELP and CNA Corporation report. First HELP is an organization that tracks law enforcement and first responder suicides. It partnered with data scientists from CNA Corporation, a nonpartisan research organization. CNA’s Center for Justice Research and Innovation provides technical assistance and conducts research with criminal justice agencies.

While the FBI gathers data on both suicides and attempted suicides, the data gathering has "encountered challenges" with showing the breadth of the problem, the report said. The FBI's 2022 report identified 32 suicides from 22 law enforcement agencies nationwide -- significantly fewer than the First HELP report.

"These preliminary findings underscore the critical necessity of expanding and refining data collection endeavors to garner a more comprehensive understanding of public safety personnel suicides and addressing the issue at a national scale," the report said. The average number of suicides per year during the period studied was just shy of 184. In 2022, the most recent year data was collected, there were 183 suicides. Also, 2019 saw the highest number with 234.


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