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On The Edge

Recent Perspectives on Police Suicide

On The Edge by John Violanti
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In this book, the authors extend their academic research and knowledge on the subject to a national level. Two of the authors, who have personally dealt with the aftermath of suicide, add a realistic description of what it is like to be “on the edge.” Andy O'Hara, who survived his near suicide and describes the feelings and pain he felt during that crisis period, and Teresa Tate, whose husband died by suicide, will add immeasurably to the understanding of this problem. Chapter One discusses police suicide rates and the ongoing controversy that surrounds this area of research. In Chapter Two, the authors describe two in-depth analyses of national police suicide rates. Chapter Three is based on a conceptual model of the career span of a police officer and trauma within that span that may exacerbate conditions for suicide. Chapter Four presents a discussion of factors that may help to protect police officers from suicide. In Chapter Five, Andy O'Hara discusses his own journey to the edge and how such decisions may come about in police officers. In Chapter Six, Andy O'Hara presents a description of his newly developed program, “Badge of Life,” which seeks to “depower” police trauma and, instead, “empower” the officer. In doing so, they will be prepared not only for stress but for trauma before it occurs and know what to do when it does. In Chapter Seven, the aftereffects of suicide are explored and how police support can help to ameliorate psychological distress and trauma associated with an officer’s death. Teresa Tate, founder and leader of the survivor group S.O.L.E.S. (Survivors of Law Enforcement Suicide), presents actual cases of police survivors derived from her personal interviews with these survivors. In the final chapter, the authors conclude with a description and critical analysis of present programs for police suicide prevention. Law enforcement practitioners, researchers and therapists, as well as police organizational policymakers, will benefit from the discussions presented in this book.
Charles C Thomas; March 2011
158 pages; ISBN 9780398086343
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Title: On The Edge
Author: John Violanti