PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - There are more than 250 names etched into a memorial in downtown Phoenix, representing all of the officers around the state to die in the line of duty.

But there are a few names not on here, those of officers who took their own lives.

One family believes their loved one's name should be added.

In 2014, Phoenix police Officer Craig Tiger took his own life after and officer involved shooting and a candid struggle with PTSD.

A condition his widow, Rebecca Tiger, knows came from the stresses of life in law enforcement.

“We know that had it not been for being a police officer and doing the job that they would still be whole,” said Tiger.

The organization Blue H.E.L.P. has been keeping track and says more police officers die by suicide than in the line of duty, 159 suicides in 2018 to 144 line of duty deaths. 

Now, Flagstaff police Officer Daniel Beckwith has taken his own life too, a year after he had to use his weapon on the job.

“My heart goes out to them and to him for his suffering, it's tragic,” said Tiger.

Officer Tiger's passing was not considered a 'line of duty' death. Because of this, his wife and children were not eligible for the benefits or support given to families of fallen officers.

“I can remember calling up an organization and saying ‘I’m just so lost I need help. Not asking for help financially, I just need help. I need someone to hold my hand just help me because I don't know how to do this.’ And it's not there. You’re treated differently,” said Tiger.

Her only consolation? She was able to pass a law in her husband's name allowing for more mental health care for officers with PTSD.

Now she hopes Beckwith's widow and future police suicide survivors will have an even better outcome.

“It would be a lot more healing if you were treated the same,” she said.

She hopes to see her husband’s name and Officer Beckwith's name on the memorial one day.

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(1) comment

TimBeatty

No. Suicide is a tragedy for everyone. Law enforcement and military veterans are particularly affected and need help preventing it. Glorifying it and making it heroic are the exact opposite of treating it. Giving benefits might seem benevolent but also incentivizes a person when they are at their lowest. We saw this when the Phoenix PD sergeant tried to stage his suicide. I can only surmise he wasn't willing to kill himself unless he received benefits. Rather than granting this incentive, hire counselors and provide mental health care to those that are suicidal. Don't turn it into a heroic act. I mourn his death but I don't condone the method. Treat it, don't condone it.

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