April 25, 2018

National Police Week
National Police Week 2018
National Police Week begins Sunday, May 13 and runs through Saturday, May 19 this year. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. National Police Week is a collaborative effort by many organizations working together to honor U.S. law enforcement officers. The primary organizers are the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), which coordinates the Annual Candlelight Vigil; the Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, which organizes the Peace Officers Memorial Day Service at the U.S. Capitol; and Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), which holds the National Police Survivors' Conference. An online schedule of this year's event is available.
National Police Week is an emotional time of recognition and remembrance for new survivors and for those who are returning for the events. This year, the names of 360 fallen officers will be formally dedicated during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil. This includes 129 officers killed in 2017, and 231 officers who died in previous years but whose stories had not come to light until now.
NLEOMF has preliminary fatality data for 2018 available on their website. Numerous facts are also available such as:
  • Currently, there are 21,541 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
  • There are more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the U.S., which is the highest number on record.
  • A total of 1,511 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 58hours or 151 per year.
  • New York City has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 833 deaths. Texas has lost 1,731officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 23.
Each year, the FBI publishes data collected on Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted to provide information about officers who were killed feloniously or accidentally, and officers who were assaulted while performing their duties. The most current data available was released in October 2017 and is for calendar year 2016. The information is collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which includes campus police, and contains summaries of officers killed, methodologies, criteria, and tables.
For more information about National Police Week, including specific event details, communications, logistics, or media coordination, please contact the appropriate member of the National Memorial Committee.

After a Suicide
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After a Suicide
Suicide is a major public health problem. In 2016, suicide was the second leading cause of death in the U.S. for those between the ages of 10 and 34. The suicide of a student can leave a school faced with grieving students, faculty, and staff; distressed parents; media attention; and a community struggling to understand what happened and why. Suicide postvention efforts address the need for predetermined strategies to effectively and sensitively respond to deaths after they occur and allow for schools and campuses to implement a coordinated response. A good postvention plan can also have a positive impact on prevention.
Last week, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, in collaboration with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and in consultation with other national experts, released the second edition of  After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools (PDF). This toolkit assists schools in implementing a coordinated response to the suicide death of a student. The following principles guided the development of the toolkit:
  • Schools should treat all student deaths in the same way. Having one approach for a student who dies of cancer, for example, and another for a student who dies by suicide reinforces the negative association that often surrounds suicide and may be deeply painful to the deceased student's family and close friends.
  • Adolescents are vulnerable to the risk of suicide contagion, that is, when a struggling student experiences the loss of another student to suicide and becomes at greater risk. Therefore, it is important not to inadvertently simplify, glamorize, or romanticize the student or their death.
  • Adolescents are also resilient. With the proper information, guidance, and support from school staff, students can learn to cope with the suicide of a fellow student, process their grief, and return to healthy functioning.
  • Suicide has multiple causes. However, a student who dies by suicide was likely struggling with significant concerns, such as a mental health condition that caused substantial psychological pain even if that pain was not apparent to others. It is also important to understand that most people with mental health conditions do not attempt suicide.
  • Help should be available for any student who may be struggling with mental health issues or suicidal feelings.
  • Postvention efforts need to consider the cultural diversity of those affected by a suicide.
This toolkit was developed primarily for administrators and staff in middle and high schools and can also be useful for parents and communities. Although some of the guidance can be used by schools serving other age groups, the developmental differences between students in elementary, middle, and high school, and college must be taken into account when using the toolkit to respond to a death in a school.
Additional resources are available that specifically address suicide contagion - exposure to suicide that can result in an increase in suicide and suicidal behaviors - and postvention efforts in higher education and health/behavioral healthcare settings:
  • After a Suicide: The Zero Suicide Approach to Postvention in Health and Behavioral Healthcare Settings: In this webinar recording, participants learn how a health and behavioral health organization's response to a suicide death can support improvements in suicide care practices; about the role of root cause analysis in a postvention response; and how to identify steps that can be taken by organizations to support staff, other patients, and the family following a patient's death by suicide.
  • Postvention: A Guide for Response to Suicide on College Campuses (PDF): This resource defines specific areas of consideration and planning and offers suggestions for best practices. It is intended for use by colleges and universities that are affected by and/or want to be prepared for campus crises and campus deaths.
  • Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide: More than 50 research studies worldwide have found that certain types of news coverage can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals. The risk for suicide contagion as a result of media reporting can be minimized by factual and concise media reports of suicide. This document is available in English and other languages.
  • Responding to Suicide Clusters on College Campuses: In this video, experts in suicide prevention and college mental health discuss the epidemiology and demographics of suicide clusters; what we know about settings in which clusters are more likely to occur; and how to reduce the risk of contagion through effective communication, intervention, and postvention on- and off-campus.
For additional resources on suicide prevention and postvention efforts, visit our library and use search tags "mental health," "postvention," "prevention," "suicide," or a combination of these terms, and view our news articles  13 Reasons Why: Suicide Contagion and Suicide Contagion: Identifying Those at Risk & Postvention Strategies.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Suicide Risk Assessment and Management for LGBT People
Organization: National LGBT Health Education Center
Date: May 9, 2018 at 12:00PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: 2018 IACLEA Annual Conference & Exposition
Organization: International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
Dates: June 29 - July 2, 2018
Location: Orlando, FL
Fee: Registration fee
Title: 2018 Destination Zero Conference
Organizations: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and VALOR Officer Safety and Wellness Program
Dates: August 2-3, 2018
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Fee: Free

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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