GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – Family, friends and fellow first-responders came together to remember Montgomery County Police Officer Thomas Bomba on Saturday morning. He died by suicide Monday.
Bomba served as an MCPD officer for over ten years, during his career, he was awarded a Silver Medal of Valor.
Capt. Tom Jordan of MCPD says Bomba’s death has sparked a conversation surrounding the mental health and emotional needs of those “on the front lines of human tragedy.”
According to the CDC, protective services professionals have the sixth highest rate of suicide among all professions.
“Along with the services we provide, we need to create an environment where these heroes, these first-responders, can come forward. Sometimes it’s not easy to come forward and it takes great strength to do so,” Jordan said.
The department provides several options for support services for it’s employees. Jordan says conversation is critical.
“We have peer support, we have a psychologist who’s on staff for us, and we have each other. We have to reach out to each other, we cant be afraid to ask for help,” Jordan said.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a resource for those who have thoughts of harming themselves and concerned loved ones. The lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.