Friday, August 16, 2019

"The New York City Police Department . . . lost its ninth officer this year to suicide"

“This is crazy,” said Denise Jablonski-Kaye, a clinical psychologist and the assistant commanding officer of behavioral science services at the LAPD. “It really is.”

Since July 2017, there have been no reported suicides of officers at the LAPD, where the department has an entirely different way of handling mental health services.

Jablonski-Kaye believes the NYPD needs to immediately change its approach, noting that the LAPD has 16 full-time clinical psychologists who are embedded in its force — each has an assigned station that they visit most weeks, and participate in ride-alongs — and offer free counseling with no limit on sessions.


In Los Angeles, 350 officers are trained in peer support, with Jablonski-Kaye noting that’s how most officers — there are 10,000 in the department — first access the clinical psychologist services.

At the LAPD, unlike most police departments, including the NYPD, the staff psychologists who conduct debriefing sessions with officers after traumatic incidents or hold private counseling sessions are not the same people who oversee fitness-for-duty examinations under the health department.