Last week Officer Justin Carmen took his own life. He was in his patrol car and a fellow officer found him. He was only 29 and had been an officer since March 2018. Mobile Police Chief said Officer Carmen has "been an outstanding officer in the year and nine months that he served the Mobile Police Department. He’s carried out his patrol duties as professionally as he possibly can…He always had a smile on his face.”
This is heartbreaking to lose a life...someone who signed up to serve and protect those around him. We will never know what drove him to feel suicide was the only option, but we do know that countless officers struggle with PTSD from the things they see and experience on the job. They go on calls that will never leave them, they see fellow officers die, they carry the stress of the job even when they are off shift yet sadly we hardly hear of groups formed to support them with their mental health. Some resources are available to help, but there is so much stigma around seeking help that most officers just try to deal with it by themselves.
The Chief continued that his death is a tremendous loss to the department and that more needs to be done to help remove the stigma first responders face when dealing with their own mental health and emotional struggles.
People say "No one fights alone" but what are you actually doing to help in the fight? We have to do a better job of letting them know we are there for them. We can't solve all the problems, but just wearing your support, delivering a giveback shirt, or some verbal appreciation lifts the load they carry. They realize they don't have to carry it alone. Our goal with SRVS is that it is a visible symbol so any time they see someone wearing it they are reminded that people care.
So let's do more...together we truly can make a difference for those serving.
Thanks for being part of this with us! Live Loyal,
Ryan and Amanda