How This Police Department Is Fighting for Its Officers’ Mental Health after Suicides

NBC News

By Hannah Rappleye and Emily R. Siegel

One night in 2006, rain fell as Lt. Ed Rediske slumped in a chair in his backyard, a gun balanced on his knees. It was easier for him to imagine ending his life than it was to ask for help. “I didn’t feel like I could cope,” he recalls. “I wanted to stop feeling like that.” Weeks earlier, an armed man had stormed his district station at the Fairfax County Police Department and killed two officers. One of them, Detective Vicky Armel, was a friend. As the department reeled, a supervisor told Rediske that he was partly to blame, the officer says. Weeks before, Rediske had exchanged harsh words with the shooter before a tense interrogation. The guilt he felt, no matter how misplaced, was crushing.

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