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Am J Ind Med. 1996 Jul;30(1):99-104.

Suicides, homicides, and accidental death: a comparative risk assessment of police officers and municipal workers.

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  • 1Department of Criminal Justice, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA.


Inherent dangers in police work, such as the possibility of homicide victimization or accidents, often overshadow the psychological consequences of this occupation. The present study employed data from a Buffalo, NY retrospective mortality municipal worker cohort to evaluate the risk of suicide, homicide, and accidents among police officers, and compared that risk to other municipal workers. Within the police occupation, officers had an 8.23-fold risk of suicide over homicide and a 3.1-fold risk of suicide over accidents. Compared to municipal workers, police officers had an RR = 1.53 (95% CI = 0.633-3.72) for suicide over homicide, a significant RR = 3.1 (95% CI = 1.94-4.97) for suicide over accidents, and a significant RR = 2.65 (95% CI = 1.76-4.00) for suicide over homicide and accidents combined. Possible reasons for suicide among police officers are discussed.

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