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NJ Unveils New Program To Combat Growing Problem Of Police Suicides

WCBS Radio New York logo WCBS Radio New York 8/6/2019
a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Entercom Radio, LLC TRENTON (WCBS 880) -- The New Jersey Attorney General on Tuesday announced a plan to help curb the rising number of police suicides in the state.

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As WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported, there's been a recent spike in suicides at the NYPD and last year, 17 New Jersey officers also died from apparent suicides.

"If we had 17 line of duty deaths in this state we'd be screaming, and 17 suicides quietly go by the wayside," said the head of the state police union, Pat Colligan.

In response to the "mental health crisis," New Jersey will become the first state in the country to have a Resiliency Officer in every police department.

"It gives them opportunities to talk about the stresses of their job,' said Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. "It provides them with the support that they deserve."

Grewal says he hopes cops will feel comfortable seeking help and notes the stress of police work often puts officers at higher risk for physical and mental issues - including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse and self-harm.

Grewal based the program off a similar one put in place by the FBI, according to a statement from his office.

The Attorney General is hoping the first-of-its-kind program will save many lives.

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