TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Dan Walls is the Marshal of Seelyville and works at Woodrow Wilson as security. He also has another job as Chaplain for the Terre Haute Police Department. Walls knows first hand how difficult being a police officer can be.
"You see a lot of things that the average person does not see. You're the one that fills in the gap, you're the one that goes places that most people run away from," said Walls.
A pressure that has pushed some who serve our community to commit suicide. It’s an issue that plagues both police and firefighters.
The Ruderman Family Foundation released a report stating first responders are more likely to die from suicide than on the line of duty. In the report, they say that in 2017 there were 103 firefighters and 140 police officers that took their lives.
Both the Terre Haute Police and Fire departments have programs in place to help those in need though. For example, Terre Haute Fire Chief Jeff Fisher says they sometimes hold meetings to discuss runs that might trouble many.
"so we do have these post meetings of these instances but a lot of time it needs to go further than that to a therapist," said Fisher.
Terre Haute also has a program set up with the Hamilton Center of Terre Haute. This allows firefighters and police to talk to a therapist no matter their need, but Fisher says getting to that step is often the hardest.
"I can tell somebody all day long “hey I think there’s something going on here. I think you need to go get checked out or talk to somebody”. It’s up to that person to take that first step to actually see that they're having an issue," said Fisher.
Those who serve us are not the only ones that may be in need of help. If you are thinking about committing suicide you are urged to reach out to the suicide prevention hotline. That number is 1(800)273-8255