Because Of The Line Of Duty
Canada Beyond The Blue is passionate about helping our communities, governments and insurance boards understand the term we coined, which brings awareness to the risk involved to our loved ones repeatedly throughout each shift or call for service.
The term “Because of the line of Duty Death” honours police members who have died by suicide due to the mental injuries they have sustained while serving their communities.
Officers who have died in the line of duty pay the ultimate sacrifice. Let's pause and suggest for a moment that an officer survived the fatal interaction. What does that look like 30, 60, or 90 days later? What does that look like for this individual 3 to 5 years after the incident? Years of SIU, Professional Standards, Courts, Lawyers, and what about the flashbacks and trauma?
Would they be changed?
Now let's discuss the horrific events our officers face. What they see, hear, smell and feel while serving their community. What it looks like to move to the next horrible or dangerous incident after the next.
Would you be able to process the cumulative trauma and operational stress that piles up day after day?
When we lose a police member to suicide, we lose an opportunity to address and treat the cause of the death. Indeed, we cannot prevent human suffering, and we cannot prevent the horrors our police members face, but we can look at what we have in place to keep them safe when they answer the call for service.
Consider the programs that address these genuine injuries. Consider internal and external supports that are trustworthy and trauma-trained. Shifting internal operational models that look at mental health as malingering to being human-focused and adequately funded.
These deaths are disproportionately represented as suicide, and this tells us a story.
A story of significant human suffering, silenced by inadequate support, lack of trust in their employer and the loss of their will to keep fighting. The loss of life to suicide is a direct result of because of the line of duty.