'They're physically and mentally drained': Police Association says many officers leaving the job
EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Police Association is concerned with the growing number of incidents officers are having to deal with – on top of the normal stress associated with the job.
“It’s quite evident on their faces they’re physically and mentally drained,” said Sgt. Michael Elliott, the association President.
He posted this photo on social media after an officer found a needle jabbed into the tire of his police cruiser.
“You can’t see it but he said if you look up close there’s blood all around it as well,” he said.
“He was upset, angry, perturbed, ticked off, he was saying if somebody’s got an issue with me, come talk to me. He’s like why would somebody do something of this sense?”
Another incident this week that upset the head of the association was a comment someone made in response to a post the Edmonton Police Service made on Facebook about National Suicide Awareness Day.
The comment read: “I think a lot of edmonton police officers should commit suicide.”
“They’re not just police officers they’re citizens of the community. They have children, they have partners, they have family,” Sgt. Elliott said.
“That is the lowest of the low telling somebody I hope you die, I hope you kill yourself, I’m just flabergasted and it burns me to no end that somebody would think that.”
According to Sgt. Elliott, name calling and things like having items thrown at officers or their vehicles is not uncommon, but it is on the rise and taking a toll on officers.
“Know that there are avenues that you can reach out to voice your concerns to have constructive and positive dialogue,” he said.
“Some things we may agree to disagree, that’s okay but having I’ll say childish behaviour that’s not conducive to positive change,” he added.
“Policing’s getting beat up right now. Some we’ve earned but a lot of it we haven’t,” Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee told CTV News.
“A lot of its driven by actions south of the border and having been down south lots of times there’s a big difference between Canadian policing and American policing, not that we don’t have work,” he said.
The Association said it’s causing several members to re-think wearing the uniform.
“I know of members right now that are seeking employment elsewhere as soon as they can find something they’re leaving this profession,” Sgt. Elliott said.