According to a statement from the department, the first death was reported at around 10:30 a.m. in the Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita. Two hours later, at about 10 minutes before 1 p.m., L.A. County detectives were called to a second death in Lancaster at the northern end of the county. Over 12 hours later, before 6 p.m., detectives were once again called to a home in Stevenson Ranch, just to the west of Santa Clarita.
Finally, homicide detectives were sent to a hospital in Pomona in the eastern fringe of the county where the fourth apparent suicide was brought and declared dead at around 7:30 a.m. the next day.
"Our LASD family has experienced a significant amount of loss and tragedies this year," said Sheriff Robert Luna. "We are stunned to learn of these deaths, and it has sent shockwaves of emotions throughout the department as we try and cope with the loss of not just one, but four beloved active and retired members of our department family.
The names of the four deceased current and former LASD employees have not been released. All that the county has divulged is that, of the four individuals, there are three men and one woman. Details surrounding the deaths remain unclear. But despite the close timing and locations of the deaths, the sheriff's department is handling each as separate investigations.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, emergency first responders, law enforcement officers and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty. This was highlighted as a significant public health problem in the recent Surgeon General's "Call to Action to Implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention." (Related: Government data reveals SUICIDES in America hit all-time high in 2022.)
In an article posted in February by Boston University researcher Anthony Ford, law enforcement officers have a 54 percent higher risk of committing suicide than the civilian population. He added that in 2020, 116 police officers died by suicide, which rose to 150 the year after in 2021.
These figures were updated in 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in "Law enforcement worker suicide: An updated national assessment" published in the journal Policing. The article reported that results from the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance (NOMS) database indicated 264 suicide deaths among law enforcement workers – making them 69 percent more likely to die by suicide in the United States.
In June 2022, USA Today reported that the First Responders' Brigade (FRB) and other nonprofit organizations are working to "combat stigma and provide resources to help those struggling to find support to combat feelings of isolation."
FRB, for instance, hosts retreats for first responders experiencing depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress or suicidal ideation from their line of work.
"First responders who are experiencing depression or anxiety from the job need to know there is nothing wrong with them. They are having a normal reaction to the abnormal things we see and hear on the job every day. There are people and organizations ready to stand guard while you heal," said retired police officer Mick Yinger, the FRB executive director.
Watch this video about the disturbing string of police suicides in the LA Sheriff's Department.
This video is from the Daily Videos channel on Brighteon.com.