The story reminded me of an excellent post from October at the Dallas News Crime Blog by Tanya Eiserer, who provided some broader context on law-enforcement suicides. She wrote:
Far more cops die every year from suicide than being killed in the line of duty.
Frankly, I was stunned by the figures I heard during a session on police suicide.
Roughly, 150 officers die in the line of duty each year. Meanwhile, police suicides number at least 250 every year.
Consider that suicides account for about 12 per 100,000 deaths in the general populations. Among white males, it was 18 deaths per 100,000. One study found suicides number about 22 deaths per 100,000 among cops. ...
About 89 percent of documented police suicides involve alcohol abuse
Those rates are well above the number of officers who die on the job every year from traffic accidents, shootings and other occupational hazards, adding to the dangers inherent in police work. Body armor won't protect the officer who puts a service revolver in his mouth and pulls the trigger.
For that matter, the rates of suicide among the general public, according to Eiserer's data, are more than double Texas' homicide rate. Yet how may public resources are spent on suicide prevention compared to all the criminal justice resources expended on murder?
This is a topic that deserves more attention than it usually receives.