“It is with a heavy heart that the Lancaster City Police announces the death of active duty Patrol Officer Mark Gehron, 43 years old, city resident and 19-year veteran of the police bureau. This was not a line of duty death. Officer Gehron was found deceased in his home and the manner of death was ruled a suicide.
These losses in the Law Enforcement, the First Responder and Emergency Dispatcher Community are a growing but preventable epidemic. The law enforcement community experiences on average 130 deaths a year related to officers in crisis. We in public safety have difficult jobs that come with unique challenges and dangers, coupled with regular life stressors make it is easy for us to become overwhelmed. We are public safety professionals who people turn to in times of crisis or emergency. So public safety workers often mask emotion to do their jobs on a day-to-day basis helping people and we forget or ignore that we often need help ourselves. If you are a member of the First Responder Community do a mental health check every year just like a physical wellness check.
Mental Health Check (Badge of Life, 2006)
- Visit a licensed mental health professional to develop a relationship that can be relied on later.
- It is a confidential visit that does not trigger a report. No information returns to your department.
- It is not a Fitness for Duty Evaluation. It is a check-in to learn new skills and set goals if desired.
- The Mental Health Check is part of your normal maintenance routine. Take it seriously.
- It’s a chance to review your current and/or past mental health status, and receive professional support.
- The Mental Health Check is fully voluntary and encouraged by agencies, chiefs and all supervisors.
If you are in crisis and need help please contact your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), local Crisis Intervention, Peer-to-Peer counselors, department chaplain, the referral services or agencies listed below:
Safe Call Now: https://www.safecallnow.org/ 206-459-3020
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 1-800-273-8255
COP2COP: http://ubhc.rutgers.edu/cop2cop/services.htm 1-866-Cop-2Cop
Seeking help is not a career-ending dilemma, it could be lifesaving and career saving.
The entire police bureau and other city departments are mourning the loss of Officer Gehron, a valued member of our police bureau and city employee family. Since this was not a line of duty death, the police bureau and his family are asking for privacy at this time of grief. The city and department have been providing critical incident peer counseling and EAP grief counselors since Saturday. This was a sudden loss to us and his family and we are trying to grieve and support Mark’s family and our staff in every way possible. Your consideration and continued thoughts for his family and coworkers is greatly appreciated. Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family. ”
Officer Gehron’s Obituary: https://www.snyderfuneralhome.com/obituary/mark-c-gehron/
Lancaster Bureau of Police