A Tough Summer for SDPD Staff

Death marks 3rd loss in three weeks for the police department

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Diego Police Department

    It's been a difficult summer for the San Diego Police Department as three SDPD officers have died tragically in less than three weeks.

    In July, beloved child abuse detective, Donna Williams, was stabbed to death by her schizophrenic son in Rancho Penasquitos. Her 18-year-old daughter, Bree, was also killed.

    Henwood's Death the 3rd Loss for SDPD

    [DGO] Henwood's Death the 3rd Loss for SDPD
    It's been a difficult summer for the San Diego Police Department as three SDPD officers have died tragically in less than three weeks.

    Two weeks later, Officer David Hall, a 14-year veteran facing drunk driving charges, killed himself with a gun inside his home.

    Less than a week later on August 7, officer Jeremy Henwood died after one day after being shot by a man on a shooting spree throughout San Diego.

    Police said the suspect in Henwood's death, 23-year-old Dejon White, shot Henwood in the head as he waited at a stoplight in his patrol car in City Heights.

    Three tragedies happening so close together forced the investigation into Henwood's death to be put on hold Monday as nearly the entire department spent time at the other officer's funeral.

    "It's been tough. A lot of people are hurting," said David Ramirez, Executive Assistant Chief of the SDPD. "We're working through this like a family. It's a real family within the police department, " Ramirez added.

    A local psychologist who worked with the SDPD for 10 years said the force is entering a critical time.

    "Most of these people have such mental toughness that they can come back and keep doing the job," said Psychologist Michael Mantell, "but just how many times can you keep getting kicked?"

    Mantell said it's imperative for the department to take precautions now. A drop in morale would impact how officers do their jobs day-to-day.

    The policies and procedures of the department to support police officers in every possible way, Mantel said. Though Mantel said that's not all policemen might need to adjust, "Officers need to be sitting alone quietly without the cameras privately to be able to talk about what impact this has."

    Procedures and internal support aside, the public can also help make a difference within the lives of officers.

    "Something as simply as thanking officers for their service much like many already thank service members can boost the morale during this difficult time," Mantell said.