Top cop Supt Dave Darcy warns: ‘Mental health is our greatest challenge’

Julie Cross

One of Sydney’s top policeman has revealed his officers have had to attend to 33 people suffering from mental illness in life threatening situations in the last three weeks.

Northern Beaches Commander Dave Darcy’s voice cracked with emotion as he described how mental health issues on the northern beaches was taking its toll on officers.

“Having a policing career is a tough gig,” he told police and their families at the Northern Beaches Police Area Command awards ceremony at Dee Why RSL on Thursday.

“Policing is physically and emotionally demanding. In this command by far and away the greatest challenge is mental health at this point in time.

“But it’s not only about looking after the community it’s about looking after ourselves.

“In the last three weeks there have been 33 cases of people suffering from mental illness in life threatening circumstances where we have responded on the frontline.”

Supt Darcy said his command deals with more acute care psychiatric conditions than the Department of Health’s acute care team at Brookvale.

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