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Call to commemorate officers who died by suicide persists

Etched into the glass panels of the Parliament Hill memorial known as the Honour Roll are the names of the more than 880 Canadian police and peace officers who have died in the line of duty since Confederation. 
The names of officers who have died by suicide aren't included.

The widow of an Ontario Provincial Police officer who took his own life and a former Ottawa police staff sergeant want that to change.
Josh de Bock died died by suicide in August 2018. At the time, he was working in the force's forensic identification unit.

"He is a hero in life and in death, and he should be acknowledged and recognized equally as anyone else, any other fallen officer who died in the line of duty," said his widow, Loan de Bock.

"His death was a result of his mental decline, and it was a cumulative toll of police work. And because of that, I believe he deserves to be up there [on the wall]."

She submitted an application to the national memorial in March to have his name engraved on the wall. The application was accompanied by a letter of support by then Interim OPP Commissioner Gary Couture, saying he believed de Bock's death the result of mental illness acquired in the line of duty, and a letter from his doctor stating the same.

The Canadian Police Association sent back a request for more information, including whether his illness was recognized by Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and if he had been diagnosed with a mental health condition at the time of his death.

She called it "insulting" that families are being asked to provide more information, proof, that their loved ones died in the line of duty and mental health issues aren't given the same consideration as physical injuries.

"It's just saying to the officers that they're not as important as others who have died in the line of duty," she said. 
She also believes part of the reason police organizations are dragging their feet is because they don't want to offend families of officers who have been killed on the job.

Syd Gravel agrees.

He's a former Ottawa police staff sergeant and co-founder of Badge of Life Canada, an organization that helps police and correctional officers deal with mental health issues caused by their jobs.