TRENTON, NJ (WCBS 880) – At least five active or retired police officers in New Jersey have committed suicide so far this year.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney On Cops And Therapy

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Psychologist Dr. Eugene Stefanelli says the state averages 12-15 cop suicides a year. “We stop at least twenty. To me, that’s an epidemic.”

Representatives from police suicide prevention hotline COP 2 COP say that over 180 have been stopped in 10 years, which is good.

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Stefanelli says the main problems are “moral, administrative, financial problems at home, relationships.”

Stefanelli, who works with police officers and the police union, says therapists cannot treat them like other patients. “Cops, on a whole, don’t trust. They’re afraid to go and see anyone [and get] any kind of therapeutic help, because they’re afraid of losing their job. They’re afraid somebody’s not going to understand what’s going on.”

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The number for the COP 2 COP confidential help line is 866-COP-2COP (267-2267).