CT News Junkie
by Christine Stuart
Mar 8, 2018
The bill the officers are supporting would carve out an exemption for law enforcement and allow them to get their service weapon back even if they sought mental health treatment. At the moment, no matter who you are in Connecticut, if you voluntarily check yourself into an in-patient mental health facility you get your firearms taken away for six months.HARTFORD, CT — Four. That’s the number of police officers in Connecticut who have taken their own lives over the past seven months.
And that’s only the number a group of law enforcement officers at the state Capitol Tuesday to testify knew about. There’s no data on police suicide collected by the state. The Federal Bureau of Investigations collections information about deaths in the line of duty, but not suicide.
James Rascati, a clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Yale University, said he’s personally dealt with the suicides of seven officers over the past 15 years.
“It’s one of the most devastating events any law enforcement agency can experience,” Rascati said.
Ron Mercado, an officer from Bridgeport, said his department still struggles daily with the recent suicide of one of its officers on Dec. 4.
“It’s difficult to focus when you’re still thinking to yourself whether you could have gotten him some more help,” Mercado said. “It doesn’t get any easier.”
One of the barriers to treatment the officers are looking to the General Assembly this year to resolve was adopted as part of the landmark 2013 legislation banning assault weapons and large capacity magazines post-Sandy Hook.
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