Breaking News
More () »

Police suicides has one Buffalo lawmaker calling for help

Recent statistics on police suicides in Buffalo are disturbing and one lawmaker wants more done to assist officers with mental health.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Five Buffalo police officers have died by suicide since February 2021.

The recent cases of suicide involving police officers have families, lawmakers, and experts sounding the alarm. Families of those who died want to ensure that officers get help so this situation doesn't continue to happen.

South district councilman Chris Scanlon said it is becoming more and more apparent that officers need someone to talk to as situations continue to escalate for officers.

Scanlon said the five officers who died are all from the 14220 zip code.

"We've got to do something," Scanlon said.  "We've seen five officers in the district that I represent pass away because of this and while I've known them all and had relationships with them, two of them extremely close, it just has to stop."

"I think one thing we need to do is bolster the peer team within the Buffalo police department so that officers are comfortable going to someone they are familiar with. A lot of times people are not reaching out and we can say we are offering them services, but a lot of times it's too late and they're not pursuing the help that they might need," Scanlon said.

University at Buffalo researcher John Violanti has been doing research for 30 years on police stress, and suicides. He is a former New York State Trooper.

When asked about the number of Buffalo police suicides, he said "I haven't seen that high of a number of suicides," in Buffalo.

The Buffalo police department is working on initiatives with local agencies and other entities outside of the state to help police officers. More information will be revealed in the coming weeks.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to speak with a trained mental health clinician.

Click here for other services.

Before You Leave, Check This Out