SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – In the past half-decade, suicides amongst police officers have averaged 20 per year.
From 2012 through 2016, there were a total of 100 suicides according to the Korean National Police Agency. Yearly totals actually increased as time went on, from 18 deaths in 2012 to 26 by last year.
However, this year seems to have bucked the trend, as 19 suicides had occurred as of November, a 27 percent decline compared to 2016.
The police explained that a combination of factors such as problems at work, mental health issues and family discord were responsible for the suicides.
There are slightly over 100,000 men and women in blue. The suicide rate per 100,000 in the police is lower than the analogous statistic for the civilian population (26 per 100,000), but is still higher than that of public servants overall (8 per 100,000).
Commissioner General Lee Chul-sung said at a recent roundtable discussion with invited journalists that there were only six service centers for treating patients suffering from trauma. Lee announced that three facilities will be built each year until every regional police department has access to a treatment center.
Lee additionally stated, “[The police] will also work with counseling services in the private sector so that police officers can make use of them.”
During the same time period, the rejection rate for applications for injury and death in the line of duty were lower in law enforcement than for public employees as a whole. The figures were 6.8 percent and 43.7 percent respectively for the police compared to 12.3 percent and 60.3 percent.
The police will provide legal counseling, support for lawsuits and reviews of cases to ensure that wrongful dismissals of applications are prevented.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)