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  • I am worried about my cop friend.

    He just got a divorce. He has never in the past been a drinker. He now drinks a lot. He is making brazen moves at work, i.e. driving way too fast, racing people, almost picking fights with people he stops. He has dropped hints about suicide. He has been a cop for about five years. When I try to talk to him, he brushes me off. He says he feels free from his hellish marriage, he is enjoying himself, the suicide talk he says is cops sick humor. I don't believe him that he is okay. I think he is being macho and strong and doesn't want to admit he needs help.

    What can I do to help him? Will he listen to a non-cop friend? If/when you went through something similar, what did people do that helped you through it?

    We are just friends and nothing more. Thanks.

  • #2
    Do you see him doing any of this? If he's just telling you all this maybe he's trying to get sympathy sex. I never questioned the vailidity of you're relationship ship til you felt obligated to put the "just friends" tag in there. Which means, esp if he's attracted to you, that you are just friends and he wants it to be something more.

    That all being said, if you think he needs to get some counceling then tell him so. He'll either go or he won't. As the Tao teaches just as the empties of a window gives it value, your inaction will probably help more than your actions. If he is acting inapproprieately at work then it's his supervisor's job to take notice and take the proper course of action.
    You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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    • #3
      He doesn't want counseling. He says he's fine and doesn't want his job to know.

      Doesn't anybody else have advice? Is my question in the wrong section?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Daedalia
        He just got a divorce. He has never in the past been a drinker. He now drinks a lot. He is making brazen moves at work, i.e. driving way too fast, racing people, almost picking fights with people he stops. He has dropped hints about suicide. He has been a cop for about five years. When I try to talk to him, he brushes me off. He says he feels free from his hellish marriage, he is enjoying himself, the suicide talk he says is cops sick humor. I don't believe him that he is okay. I think he is being macho and strong and doesn't want to admit he needs help.

        What can I do to help him? Will he listen to a non-cop friend? If/when you went through something similar, what did people do that helped you through it?

        We are just friends and nothing more. Thanks.
        Suicide among police officers is more widespread than most people realize. More officers commit suicide each year than die in traffic accidents. If you have noticed your friend drinking heavily, acting recklessly, and making jokes, comments, or threats about suicide you should do something immediately.

        If he doesn
        Cogito ergo summopere periculosus.

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        • #5
          trouble

          Yes! Take it seriously. The 5 year mark is where it starts to gel for most officers. The original thrill and awe of the job have been replaced by repetition and routine. He may be spending more time with his work buddies because they can help him cope temporarily. However, few officers actually confide in fellow officers. It's an unwritten rule that young officers feel they must be "bullet proof." He won't bare his soul to you either, unless he feels safe doing it. From my own experiences (over 25 years on the job) it's not easy to trust people with your inner fears. If you know any of the older officers on his job, you may try talking to them and seeing if they can get through. We had an officer who often had the gallows humor, at very inappropriate times. A couple of us actually had his wife pack a bag for him and we took him to a EAP facility (employee assistance) for some "quiet time." he was gone for a week, the details remained confidential and, although he never admitted that there was a problem, became a much happier and productive officer after that.
          Jerry
          "If all else fails, stop using all else!"

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          • #6
            the suicide talk he says is cops sick humor.
            We all know of the sick humor he is referring to, but that is not it. I agree you should try to talk him into seeing a counselor, if he doesn't, you should see his supervisor. As a young Officer I have been helped by supervisors in personal matters, there is nothing wrong with it at all and a good sup. can and will help him if at all possible.
            "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

            -Lao Tzu

            "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

            -Reinhold Niebuhr

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            • #7
              You might want to check out this web site. http://www.tearsofacop.com/police/police.html

              All the officers above gave excellent advise. He may hate you for a while if you report him to his supervisor but not nearly as much as you'll hate yourself if he kills himself.
              "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

              For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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              • #8
                This officer is throwing up some major red flags here. As party to two divorces in my short career, I can promise everyone here the stress is compounded tremendously by the job. This officer is likely to hurt himself or someone else (unintentionally) if he doesn't get some help. Most agencies and governments have some sort of confidential counseling available to their employees. This officer seriously needs to take advantage of the service if it is available. Not being in the situation directly, I would caution you not to overreact to his behavior and perhaps cause him further problems by doing so. If you truely feel he is on a downward spiral, by all means, get in touch with his close friends, supervisor, or whoever you need to before it's too late. Good luck.
                God made cops so firemen would have heroes.

                You do not greet Death; you punch him in the throat repeatedly as he drags you away.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by haus409
                  We all know of the sick humor he is referring to, but that is not it. I agree you should try to talk him into seeing a counselor, if he doesn't, you should see his supervisor. As a young Officer I have been helped by supervisors in personal matters, there is nothing wrong with it at all and a good sup. can and will help him if at all possible.


                  this will not be easy. As a friend, step in. Try and get him to seek counseling or as a last resort speak to his supervisor - relay your concerns.
                  ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
                  -- John Wayne

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                  • #10
                    Thank you so much for your advice. I am really scared of going the supervisor or co-worker route. What if they use it against him? If he found out, he'd be mad as hell. He has a lot of guns. If someone did that to me, I'd be furious.

                    I am tired of the hand-wringing and feeling helpless to help him, though. Oh, I wish I didn't care about people so much. Why can't I look the other way like other people seem to? Sigh!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am in agreement with the posts that indicate a call to the Supervisor is warranted. Its not a call that will result in disciplinary action.

                      In my area, I know or am aware of more than twice as many Cops who have done themselves in as have been killed in the line of duty... 2 of them I was on speaking familiarity with and one of them assisted me and my wife greatly when I was out on an extended OJI.

                      Don't let the idea smoulder in your brain. Make the Call NOW !
                      Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?
                      --------------------------------------------------
                      Common sense... the LEAST COMMON of all of the senses.
                      --------------------------------------------------
                      Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?

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                      • #12
                        Another post from a career cop who has seen his share of burdened officers. Yes - get professional help. You might inadvertently get involved and make matters much worse. A guy cop needs a guy counselor, not somebody whom he might inadvertently see as a romantic interest (like recovering GI's falling in love with their nurses).

                        And a pro has the training and answers. Get help now, before he eats his gun or gets somebody hurt. If you have a mutual cop friend, it would be even better to persuade him/her to step in and make the contact. If you care for your friend, you owe this to him.
                        Last edited by JohndeFresno; 08-19-2005, 12:45 PM.

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                        • #13
                          That is sound advise.

                          Don't wait until it's too late. One of our officers commited suicide just a few days ago.

                          A friend and classmate of mine did it about five years ago and I wish that someone had picked up on the clues early on and had done some sort of intervention.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does your Dept. have a peer intervention team-other officers who are trained to talk to him? You should institute one. We did and I managed it and we saved at least two officers I know of. It's a preliminary step between counseling by experts. NYPD did after a horrendous year when 14 officers killed themselves.

                            Cops are taught to be in control and fear that other cops will think less of them if they need help. If he won't get help on his own, talk to a supervisor. Would you rather feel guilty for the rest of your life that he did commit suicide and you didn't intervene , or would you rather he be angry at you for telling a supervisor, but he is very much alive? The red flags are there. He's talking about it, he certainly has the means. Ask him flat out if he is going to do it. Suicidal people will tell you. Then take action.

                            The key to any of these actions is confidentiality. If the officer can trust you and the supervisor to get him help without others knowing, your program will be a success.

                            Here is a great organization I belong to for a resource:
                            http://www.psf.org/
                            Aude Sapere

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                            • #15
                              What is the Book? "I Love a Cop" What Police Families need to know"

                              Get it Read it.

                              Many Officers resort to drink and other risky behavior when they are indeed hurting inside. It is one of the Classes we had to take at FLETC, and was heavily re-inforced during the last week of training.

                              He is yelling for help even if he does not realize it consciously.

                              The leading cause of death in Police officers is suicide. I wish I knew how to infiltrate the local police, because they tend to hunker down witrh each other becasues they feel they cannot trust anyone outside their profession. Yet more contact with normal people not on the force could be nothing but good for all officers.

                              Call his Commanding Officer, tell him your concerns, and let him take the appropriate action.
                              Though their numbers are many, as the grass upon the field, we will count them at the end of the day.

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