Retired Windsor Police Inspector Pushes for One Wall for All


A retired Windsor police inspector is pushing for officers who died by suicide to be recognized on the national police memorial in Ottawa.

Detective Inspector Bill Donnelly says officers who died from a mental health injury should be honoured in the same way as an officer who dies in the line of duty.

He points out during the course of his 30-year-career, there were three officers who died by suicide including two staff sergeants and one sergeant, but it was never talked about publicly.

He believes there should be "One Wall for All."

Donnelly himself is a survivor of Post-Trauma Stress Disorder.

He says an injury, be it physical or mental, should be dealt with in the same way.

"This is a fatal mental health injury, no different than dying in a car crash or dying by a stroke or a heart attack or something else, it is something that happens to us, it is not something we do to ourselves," says Donnelly.

Donnelly adds there should be a review of each officer's death to end up on the wall.

"I think they have to include those officers suffering from mental health injuries as well," says Donnelly.  "Let's take a look at the whole picture, was the officer seeking help, did they die of their own service weapon, did they die on duty, off duty, what were the circumstances behind it, but we need to at least embrace that dialogue."

In the past week, there have been two police officers, one in Ottawa and the other in Toronto, who had died by suicide.

- with files from AM800's Leah Hanson