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WHO WE ARE

TOAC Directors and Associates
Cheryl A Rehl-Hahn - Executive Director & Founder
Teresa Tate - Director of Survivor Support (Founder & CEO of SOLES)
Ruth Benallie - Associate, Research and Statistics
Connie Hartman - CISM Director

TOAC Advisory Committee
Tom Gillan - Founder & CEO of Central Florida Police Stress Unit
Allen Kates - Author of "Copshock", member The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress
Christine Smith, PhD - Co-Founder and President of SOLOS (Survivors Of Loved Ones Suicide)
Kevin Hale - Disabled Officer, Founder of "Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder"

Email address for TOAC: badge000@tearsofacop.com
Mailing address: TOAC, PO Box 8858, Norfolk, VA 23503

TOAC is an "information-only" website. We work on a VOLUNTEER basis and unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to reply to the many emails requesting information and/or interviews on further research, etc. Please feel free to browse the entire TOAC site and use the material for reference and educational knowledge, with proper credits. Again, we ask that you please avoid sending us emails requesting further information, statistics, research, etc. We do periodic updates to the site, and all our information is found on the pages here. Remember to browse through our Links and Resources webpages to find other websites offering valuable information, as well.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

SUICIDE -- Big Stigma there. PTSD isn't far behind. These are mostly hushed and whispered words in our society. Suicide makes us uncomfortable so we don't talk about it... perhaps then, it will go away. But things don't work like that. The uncomfortable feeling we get when talking about suicide is actually rather simple. It is only our fear of something we do not understand. Remember when cancer was a hushed word?
"Did you hear that Mary has... (whisper)--> cancer?"
Well, not anymore. When the stigma of cancer was washed away from the shores, in its wake the development of research emerged with cures for remission. The problem of cancer was *de-stigmatized*. We found out you could not "catch" the big C word. Nor can you catch the big S word. But with proper research and development, we may indeed be able to stop the statistics from reaching unsurmountable proportions.

Tears of a Cop (TOAC) has a mission to make citizens across the country aware of the hidden dangers inherent with an occupation in law enforcement. Unlike the risks of a possible line-of-duty death (which most everyone understands as an unfortunate possiblity on the job), our voice is to raise awareness on the silent killer... suicide. The truth is, more police officers die from suicide than from line-of-duty deaths. The unseen wounds of job-related stress usually develop slowly over the course of an officer's career. A burglary here... a murder there. A child abused here... a bloody car accident there. Yesterday... surrounded by knife-holding gang members without back-up. Today... while investigating a disturbance, you suddenly find yourself in a struggle with a mentally unstable man, and thrown backwards out a fourth story window. You pray to a God you're not sure exists, hoping you don't fall while the broken glass cuts your back and you feel the warmth of your own blood... It is from trauma's such as these that the *unseen wounds* of an officer begin to manifest. And since we do not *see* these battle scars, in our ignorance, we choose to pretend they have no merit. One by one another symptom may appear unnoticed... Upset stomache last month. Disturbing dreams the month before. This month it's chest pains. Very common ailments, but when they persist and continue to co-exist with each other, it very well may be your body's way of saying "enough is enough" (see PTSD signs & Symptoms). Undiagnosed PTSD leads to feelings of hopelessness, despair and much too often... suicide.

Get the facts. Reduce the risks. We invite you to read the information on the TOAC website to learn more about Police Stress and Suicide.

~~~ People helping people ~~~