Deputy First Class Eddie O’Toole of the Loudoun County, Va. Sheriff’s Office has experienced loss first hand of what survivors go through when a loved one passes through suicide. It was his experience when his long time mentor Police Sgt. Bill Hurley took his own life on July 31, 2015.
Hurley had been someone that O’Toole had looked up to since the age of six and aspired to be like. He had no understanding of why Hurley had made the ultimate decision to end his own life nor was he able to find many people willing to discuss it even in the ranks of other Law Enforcement Officers.
Indeed many officers, if not most know of an officer who has committed suicide if not more than one. It is an epidemic within the Law Enforcement Community that gets very little attention. Officers are supposed to take care of situations and be strong, showing no weakness and ensure the safety of people. To take one’s own life is not something that anyone wants to discuss or admit.
As previously written about here it is the “The Elephant in The Room” that everyone pretends that does not exist, but it does. O’Toole is doing something about it. He is raising funds to raise awareness through an organization known as “The Badge Of Life” a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Organization is dedicated to the mental health and improved working conditions of police officers in the United States and Canada.
Officer O’Toole will ride for over 13 hours and cover 100 miles to raise funds for this campaign to assist first responders with programs to assist in mental health issues that are job specific to all emergency responders–police, firefighters, medical and dispatchers. His ride will be done in full uniform with all his duty gear on.
To support him in his efforts and honor Sgt. Hurley you can go to his GoFundMe page called “Ride for Our Lives!” He will be riding on April 9, 2016 in Leesburg, Va. In the Bakers Dozen Mountain Bike Race. Please show your support for Law Enforcement officers.
I encourage you to go to Officer O’Toole’s GoFundMe page where he discusses the cause and why he is so determined regarding this. Officers know there is stress on the job, there is little support from municipalities, the public or politicians. However, when an organization is willing to work with officers we should do all we can to support that type of help. Please do what you can by donating or spreading the word and check back here for updates on this type of material.
** As always should any Officer have any suicidal thoughts please do not hesitate to make a SAFE CALL NOW. They are 100% confidential.