Four employees from L.A. Sheriff’s Department die from suicide in 24-hours

LOS ANGELES, CA – A concerning wave of events has hit the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD), with four suicides occurring within its ranks since Monday. The department confirmed the tragic news, noting that the bereaved included one former and three current LASD employees. The identities of the officers were kept confidential, respecting their privacy.

The back-to-back deaths have sent shockwaves throughout the department, said Sheriff Robert Luna. “Our LASD family has experienced a significant amount of loss and tragedies this year,” he shared, adding that the entire department is grappling with the loss of four of their own.

He further emphasized the need for personnel, irrespective of their level or position, to check on their colleagues’ well-being during such distressing times. The department is keen on mitigating work-related stress factors and exploring support avenues to aid their employees in managing their personal and work lives, Luna stated.

The four employees each passed away within a 24-hour window, as confirmed by the LASD. The homicide bureau is currently investigating all four fatalities.

First HELP, a group focused on suicide among first responders, has revealed that 83 law enforcement officers have taken their own lives this year alone. A First HELP board member, Melissa Swailes, calls it a grim reminder of the complexities involved with mental health. Having lost her husband, an LAPD member, to suicide in 2016, Swailes insists there’s much work to be done despite the strides made over recent years. She called for all agencies nationwide to prioritize wellness and not consider it a mere line item box to check off.