• Hartfor Courant Op-Ed by FOP Lodge #33 Secretary

    I am a police officer, and I have been angry. For months, I have heard the attacks on my fellow officers. I have seen the media and the Al Sharptons take common criminals and turn them into martyrs. I have seen people who have never worn a badge or put their lives on the line comment on police procedures.

    Your Mental Health & Wellness

    For 29 years I lived a fairy tale life. I was married to my best friend and husband, Paul. We began dating when we were 17 years old and were married at age 22. We had two wonderful sons, Jared and Benjamin and a precious dog named Frosty. We had no money problems, no family issues; we didn’t smoke, drink or gamble; we laughed and loved each other; we took family vacations and enjoyed each other’s company. Life was great. Then, on March 12, 2013, my fairy tale life ended. My husband of 34 years died by suicide. Suicide; it’s a terrible ugly and taboo word, especially when it happens to an LEO. How could this happen to someone like Paul? You may also be asking why I’m sharing this personal story with the world. My sons and I are not ashamed or embarrassed by Paul’s story. It’s a story that is real and can happen to the best LEO’s. Does the life I describe sound like someone who would take their own life? It’s time to break the silence. Paul was an East Hartford Connecticut Police Officer for almost 24 years. He was a well-respected and dedicated officer. He was a friend to all. During his years of service he received a meritorious service citation, lifesaving citation, and many commendations. He was also awarded “East Hartford Police Officer of the Year” in 2008. He spent most of his career was in patrol, working midnights. He was the kind of police officer that you would want to be stopped by. He made friends with the bad guys; they often asked for him. As with all LEO’s, he saw the worst things in the world such as car accidents, drunk drivers, dead people, dead babies, murder/suicides, and even watched a teenager who was stabbed die in his arms. He also lost a fellow officer, Brain Aselton, who died in the line of duty. When Paul started his career he had perfect health. Paul suffered from some depression and anxiety but nothing that could not be helped through his family practitioner with medication. He also suffered many health ailments incurred after many years on the job – hypertension, lower back problems, sleep apnea, etc. During the fall of 2012, the job that Paul had inside the department as desk/fleet/scheduling/court officer was becoming too stressful. Paul reached out to administration by writing a letter about the position and how difficult the job was becoming as responsibilities were continually added. He asked for a change in his work schedule and said “…I am willing to work with anyone to make this position more reasonable.” He asked “If this position can’t be modified per my request I would like to be permitted to return to patrol for next year’s bid which starts on February 2, 2013.” No one responded. Without his knowledge, while away on vacation in September, his position was posted and shortly after Paul returned to midnight shift on patrol. Still, no one from administration spoke to him about the position and the stress he was feeling. During the fall of 2012, I watched as my husband struggled with depression and anxiety. Paul needed help. Without knowing where to turn or what to do, he called Employee Assistance Program and made an appointment with a psychiatrist. He was given a meditation handbook and referred to a nurse practitioner who would handle his medication. This psychiatrist knew nothing about LEO’s. Paul never went back. Paul continued to struggle. He was sleeping more, losing weight, and beginning to feel like a failure. He felt ashamed; he was supposed to be this strong police officer and yet here he was struggling. He told me “I have everything a man dreams of, why do I feel this way?” In December 2012/January 2013 he began to see a new psychiatrist and was actively taking medication. He was diagnosed with Panic Disorder/PTSD related to the job. January 2013 – While working midnight shift, Paul responded to a chaotic scene, an apartment fire where babies were being thrown from the windows and people were jumping. He was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. He told me “It was like 9/11; people and kids were everywhere screaming. I can’t do this job anymore.” February 2013 – Paul took one month off from work. There were some good days where he “looked” OK. On other days, he talked about work and how stressed he was and that he couldn’t do the job anymore and it was killing him inside. We talked about the possibility of retirement, disability, and quitting. Retirement was so close (July 2014) but yet so far away from Paul. He wouldn’t let me take him to the hospital because he was embarrassed that people may know him there and he feared he would lose his job. March 2013 – A permanent position was made inside the department for Paul and he returned to work. On March 12, 2013 Paul died by suicide at the East Hartford Police Department. Paul left two notes, one at the police department and one found at home. He said “….make my death an issue so you can get help for other people like me.” “I wish I could tell people that every time I think of work I get stressed out and anxious but if I told them I was suicidal I would be out of a job.” This is why my sons and I are on a mission. We need to help others and make changes in the way law enforcement looks at depression/anxiety/panic disorder/PTSD. The stress of the job is real and it exists. Suicide is not an act of cowardice but one of extreme stress and a measure of last resort to end the pain and suffering. One cannot “snap out of it” and the best way to stop suicide is to destroy the current culture where police officers cannot admit they are human. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. There needs to be more training and peer support. Administration needs to understand the stressors that each officer faces. EAP didn’t work for Paul. I hope that you will help me fufill my husband’s last wish which was to make his death an issue and help others. Please take the time to view the personal video of Paul’s story. My husband, who was this kind, caring, and loving person truly bore the pain of those he protected and served. The video can be viewed on Youtube “Breaking the Silence of Police Suicide”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyVQMH-Pfws Please, also, take a few minutes to view the movie trailer on Code 9 Officer Needs Assistance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO01Qeg15KU It is a film that is being produced to help law enforcement officers survive the rigors of their stressful careers. It explores the darker side of law enforcement. It is powerful and real. Let’s work together to break the silence. Trish Buchanan is the widow of East Hartford, Connecticut Police Officer Paul S. Buchanan Badge Number 208 who died by suicide on March 12, 2013. She seeks to bring light to the subject of police suicide by talking about it. Trisha is an executive assistant in a Hartford Connecticut suburb and the proud mother of two sons. Her current passion is working to establish a 5-K First Responder run in Officer Buchanan’s memory. Trish’s strong faith has sustained her through this terrible time in her life. You may reach her at trishbuchanan208@yahoo.com If you, a loved one, a subordinate, or a colleague is experiencing problems like Officer Buchanan, help is available 24 hours per day at Safe Call Now 206 459 3020. Safe Call Now is not EAP. By Washington State law, information shared with Safe Call Now cannot be obtained by law enforcement agencies no matter where you call from. - See more at: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2014/03/27/preventing-police-suicide-a-police-wife-breaks-the-silence/#sthash.jPsaMitU.ElhQsZp8.dpuf

    Congratulations!

    Congratulations to K-9 Officer Aimee Krzykowski of the Berlin Police Department who was recently recognized as the Highest Individual Fundraiser by the American Cancer Society for their "Bark For Life" event!! Aimee, a Breast Cancer Survivor and a Member of the North Central Connecticut Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #33, raised a total of $7,900.

    Wall Street Journal OpEd: The justice nominee and the cop killer

    Wall Street Journal OpEd: The justice nominee and the cop killer 02/26/2014 In the coming weeks, the Senate will consider the nomination of Debo Adegbile to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's civil-rights division. There are those who object to the nominee on various grounds, and others who defend him.

    Legislative News

    Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury writes letter to Congressman Michael Thompson Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, outlining the FOP's recommendations of critical elements foraddressing gun violence.
    Download: 2013_0213.pdf


    October 18, 2017
    << October 2017 >>
    S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    8 9 10 11 12 13 14
    15 16 17 18 19 20 21
    22 23 24 25 26 27 28
    29 30 31
    UnionActive Police Newswire
     
    Join the Newswire!
    Updated: Oct. 18 (19:59)

    Funeral Services for Texas Tech PD Officer Floyd East Jr.
    El Paso Municipal Police Officers' Association
    Body of Texas Tech officer killed returns to El Paso
    El Paso Municipal Police Officers' Association
    NJLECOA Life Insurance Proposal
    New Jersey Law Enforcement Commanding Officers Association
    SMPOA Endorses Amy Stanfield for Place 3 San Marcos City Council
    San Marcos Police Officers' Association
    Funeral Services for Retired Detective Richard (Ric) Contreras
    El Paso Municipal Police Officers' Association
    Texas Student Charged With Murder In Campus Officer's Death
    El Paso Municipal Police Officers' Association
     
         
  • Donations

    You have always relied on them.

    Now they are relying on you!

    The Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police is a registered 501(c) (8) Fraternal Beneficiary Society.  In its current form, Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(8) describes fraternal beneficiary societies, orders, or associations operating under the lodge system (or for the exclusive benefit of the members of a fraternity itself operating under the lodge system), and providing for the payment of life, sick, accident, or other benefits to the members of such society, order, or association, or their dependents. 

    Donations made to the CT FOP are not tax deductible.

    The Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police is committed to the support of the families of law enforcement officers killed and injured in the line of duty, and officers and families of officers who through illness or injury find themselves in distress and need of assistance. Funds are also used to provide training to officers, expenses related to fallen officer memorial events or for other purposes as voted upon by lodge membership.

    We are a non-profit organization that does conduct fundraising events from time to time. The Connecticut State FOP has contracted with professional fundraising services for both business and residential solicitation.  These companies have met our strict standards for solicitation. 

    If you have concerns, problems, complaints, or questions in regards to receiving a phone solicitation contact our fundraiser directly through the information listed below, or leave a message at the State Lodge’s main phone number 860-225-2675.

    At this time, the Connecticut State FOP has contracted with National Benefit Company, a local professional fundraising organization for our business solicitation.

    http://nationalbenefitco.com/index.html

    As a non-profit organization, we depend on fundraising to finance our activities.  If you'd like to donate directly to the lodge please mail contributions to:                                                                                               

    Connecticut State Lodge FOP
    800 Village Walk; Suite 145
    Guilford, CT. 06437

    On behalf of the Connecticut Law Enforcement Community, their families and loved ones we truly appreciate your generosity and support.  Without the valued support of the citizens of Connecticut the FOP would not be able to provide assistance to them or any of our many worthy causes such as:

    • Survivors and Families of Fallen Connecticut Police Officers
    • Connecticut Police Cadet Academy
    • Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial
    • National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial




    Page Last Updated: Aug 18, 2015 (07:56:46)
  • Connecticut State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police

    Copyright © 2017.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Powered By UnionActive



    110056 hits since Mar 18, 2012


  • Top of Page image