'Tommy' Episode 2 is testament to why the police department needs to take mental health seriously
When an LAPD officer dies, Tommy leads an investigation and finds out that he committed suicide after undergoing trauma from a case he was following
The police is perhaps one such segment of the society which is loved and hated at the same time.
The popular notion is that cops are corrupt, exploiting, unnecessarily aggressive and more such negative attributes that can squash your faith in the judicial system of the country, one instant at a time. Having said that, we cannot forget that a cop's job is always in a high-pressure environment and it requires them to be on the edge every minute of the day. This leads to frustration and emotional stress, which could eventually making them go astray. While some people take the route of dirty business, others withdraw into themselves and get into a downward emotional spiral.
We saw a classic example of this in 'Tommy' Episode 2 'There Are No Strangers Here'.
An LAPD officer gets gunned down during a chase gone wrong. After a wild goose chase and further investigation, Tommy and her team discover that it was not a shootout after all.
Officer Gusmond shot himself. His father, an ex-sergeant, turned the facts around and made it look like a shootout. The former officer was ashamed and embarrassed about the mental health of his son, who was going through a trauma caused by a shooting incident.
At the funeral, Tommy laid out the facts on the table for every officer to see and understand. The high-tension and high-pressure job of a police officer require a high mental bandwidth, which not everybody has. Hence it is important to have an open dialogue on trauma, stress and how it affects their performance and conduct at and outside work.
If those responsible for social safety cannot keep themselves safe, they cannot do justice to those who need them. And we couldn't agree more.
In the times that we live in today, mental health has started to take top priority. If most workspaces have adopted the practice, then why shouldn't the police department? As the Chief of LAPD rightly points out, "Times are changing. And we have to change with the changing times."
'Tommy' airs every Thursday at 10pm/9c, only on CBS.