Sunday, October 21, 2007

A tragedy

You absolutely hate to see stories like this: Trooper shoots self. LC ran into the blocked-off streets near the scene yesterday.

Unfortunately, according to a MSP spokesman, "Police suicide occurs more often than we would certainly like." I learned about that when I was in the Frederick Police's Citizens Police Academy back in 2004. Not too long before, a prominent sergeant in their force took his own life; in fact, I'm pretty sure I'd interviewed him before. I also learned from the academy that the divorce rate for police officers is a staggering 86 percent. Makes you almost wonder who would want to become a police officer, but believe me, I'm grateful for those who do.

In the news business, there's an unwritten rule that suicides aren't news because they give attention to the one who committed the act, which was what he wanted. But there are exceptions, such as this one and a grisly scene on an elementary school field where a man hanged himself from a soccer goalpost.

I can't say I never have had any thoughts of suicide, but I've been way too chicken to go through with any of them. But I can't imagine that taking one's own life gives them any peace in the next. In any event, God have mercy on their souls.

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