Fox News host Harris Faulkner announced her next primetime town hall will be “Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner: Police Emergency,” which will look at the state of law enforcement across the United States, particularly the increase in police suicides.
On Friday, Fox News announced Faulkner will address “the impact of rhetoric in America” and “the suicide crisis among police officers,” in her upcoming primetime town hall, according to The Hill. The town hall special comes in the wake of rising suicide rates among law enforcement officers nationwide.
This year, the issue has been particularly visible among the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Teb NYPD officers have died by suicide this year, prompting the city and police force to search for new ways to support the mental health of its officers. On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD officials announced a new “Care First” pilot program designed to provide free access to mental health services, including medication, for NYPD officers, according to ABC7.
“It’s difficult for people to come forward, especially if you’re in crisis. I think that’s almost impossible,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill previously said, according to the Hill. “The biggest issue is getting over that hurdle — getting over that hurdle of stigma.”
Faulkner, the same news host who defended Greta Thunberg against inflammatory comments from a Fox News guest, told Deadline suicide will be top of mind during the town hall, with a focus on the personal issues officers face.
“We are looking at right now at an unbelievable wave of suicides among police officers. It is the kind of trend we have to stop,” Faulkner told Deadline, adding:
Look, I am not sticking my head in the sand. I know that we have had some bad apples with racial issues and so on. We have seen riots. I live in the skin so I see it all types of ways. But hitting police officers with buckets of water and that sort of thing is trying to start something. And there are police officers feeling we better not arrest anyone we don’t know how that will play. There’s politics involved. It is time, appointment television for people to tune in and say, ‘Well let’s look at the nitty gritty here.’
While police suicides have increased this year, law enforcement officers aren’t the only group with an increased suicide rate. Most recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that teen suicide rates increased more than 50% over the past decade. Suicide rates have also risen among young people in the LGBTQ community, black kids and teens and other young people of color. It’s important to address the rising suicide rate among all populations affected as well as police officers.
“Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner: Police Emergency” will air Sunday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on Fox News.