There is no question about it – police officers have a tough, challenging and stressful occupation. 12-hour shifts that tend to end an hour or two late, constant scrutiny in the media and dangerous situations at work make police work extremely stressful. Police officers are underappreciated and overly criticized. It is not a job that I envy.
The Henry County Georgia Police Department confirmed the death of one of their own on Friday, March 24, 2017. The Henry County Officer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound which occurred while he was on duty. This suicide should bring attention to the stress police officers face everyday.
I am not here to speculate as to the cause of this tragic suicide, but what I can say is the long-term stress of working in an unappreciated occupation probably did not help the situation.
Over the last several years, police officers have been put under a magnifying glass in the media. Families of officers have lived under the added fear of not knowing if their loved one would be coming home at the end of their shift. Now, police officers are often worried that they will be criticized for merely doing their job.
The recent horrific news of losing an Officer due to suicide while on duty is simply heartbreaking, and our thoughts go out to his family and wife and children he left behind.
The fact is, most police officers have integrity, work extremely long hours, and put their life on the line every shift. Police Officers put on a uniform every day that automatically makes them a target. They see more evil, in a year on the job, than most see in a lifetime. They work when everyone else is celebrating the holidays with their families. This type of demand and stress can have a toll on family life as well as the officer's well-being.
Police officers are under-payed and underappreciated and living under living under long-term stress, and fatigue can lead to serious health issues for anyone. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer and Henry County DUI Lawyer, I interact with police officers daily, and I can genuinely say the vast majority of officers are good, hardworking individuals. Although my role as a lawyer may be adversarial, I have the utmost respect for the job they do. My thoughts and prayers are with the Henry County Police Department and the officer's family during this tragic event.