Erie County Central Police Services Sponsors Training on Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention

Modified: March 8, 2017 11:48am

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The Erie County Department of Central Police Services joined in collaboration recently to present “In Harm’s Way”, a free day-long training for law enforcement and first responders on the warning signs of suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder and prevention strategies to lessen stress. Held at Hilbert College, the conference drew 250 first line supervisors, chiefs of police, rank and file law enforcement personnel, and medical professionals from Western New York and Southern Ontario. Mental health providers, clergy providers, and crisis services personnel also took part in the training, which came about as the result of a joint effort by the Catch a Falling Star Foundation, the United States Attorney’s Office, Erie County Central Police Services and numerous other law enforcement and public safety organizations. The program’s motto is “It takes courage to ask for help. BE COURAGEOUS!”

“Members of the law enforcement community and first responders are heroes who work with people at the most difficult moments in their lives, and are often on the scene when events have taken a tragic turn,” said Erie County Commissioner of Central Police Services James Jancewicz. “These men and women are human like the rest of us, and today’s training is intended to help them identify ways to handle the stress of the job and to be aware that there are resources available to assist them in dealing with traumatic events.” Presentations at the training included “The Enemy Within: Police Suicide” by John Violanti, PhD., a Research Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo; “Taking Care of Our Own” by Chris Prochut, a mental health awareness advocate and law enforcement suicide prevention trainer who has presented to over 6,000 law enforcement officers across the United States and Canada over the past 6 years; “Police Suicide: A Survivors Perspective” by Janice McCarthy, whose husband died from suicide in July 2006; “What If”, by Lt. Thomas English, a Lieutenant in the Buffalo Police Department and a 25-year veteran of law enforcement; and a presentation by Cynthia Goss, the Program Director for Catch a Falling Star.

As a primary sponsor of the event, Erie County Central Police Services was joined by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of NY; the National Center for Security and Preparedness; the Hilbert College Institute for Law & Justice; the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police; the New York State Sheriff’s Association; the Italian American Police Association of WNY; the Catch a Falling Star Law Enforcement & First Responder Assistance Program; the Buffalo Professional Firefighter’s Association Local 282; the Erie County Sheriff’s Office; the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office; the Niagara Falls Police Department; the Town of Eden Police Benevolent Association; the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department and Cheektowaga Police Captains and Lieutenants Association; the Town of Amherst Police Club, Inc.; the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, Inc.; the Niagara County Law Enforcement Foundation, Inc.; the New York State Police PBA; and the New York State Police Investigators Association.


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On the Erie County Department of Central Police Services, visit