A wife of an Arizona police officer shared a heartbreaking post following his death that highlights the horrific realities of Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Flagstaff Police Department officer Daniel Beckwith was beloved by all of his coworkers, according to the Arizona Daily Sun. Nicknamed “Becky” by his fellow officers, he exuded charm and good cheer.
He even became something of a local legend due to his bravery on the job. In 2016, he tackled an addict high on bath salts.
The confrontation severely injured Beckwith’s knee.
“I went to the hospital, and there was little Becky sitting in his hospital bed with his Becky smile full of Becky power,” officer Pat Condon recalled.
“When I look at his knee — and when I say I look at his knee, I could see the inside of his knee — he treated it like it was no other day. This was a very physical violent confrontation he was involved in. He was a warrior that day.”
Sadly, not every confrontation would end well for Beckwith.
Beckwith had been involved in an incident with an armed 78-year-old man, according to an Op-Ed by Joanna Allhands in The Arizona Republic. When the man refused to drop his gun, the officer opened fire, killing him.
An inquiry concluded that Beckwith’s use of force was justified. He never had a single charge filed against him, but something had happened inside the beloved officer. On March 12, he died by suicide.
“A white paper published last year by the Ruderman Family Foundation found more police officers die by suicide than in the line of duty,” Allhands wrote. “PTSD and depression are more prevalent among officers than the civilian population — in part because of all the traumatic events they witness.”
Beckwith’s wife, Heather, agreed. She wrote on Facebook, “I’ve debated a lot about what I should write. There’s just so much to say – I really have no idea where to begin.”
“I lived with a spouse with PTSD for a year and I still don’t understand it. … PTSD is a real issue that needs to be addressed especially when it comes to those who live their lives to serve others. Most people don’t realize that those first responders, those police officers, firefighters and medics, all spend their lives dealing with people’s worst days, day after day.
“This does have an affect on them. These first responders are then expected to continue on, regardless of if something has affected them.”
Heather ended her post with a message of hope for the struggling, saying, “If there is anything you take from this, I hope it is to continue your fight, whatever it may be. You got this.
“There are so many people that love and cherish you. Don’t let that fight diminish your will, your motivation.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.