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London police say PTSD to blame in death of officer

Constable Omar Hassan, 51 struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and unfortunately lost his life to the disorder. Supplied by London Police Servince

Police in London, Ont., have identified the officer who recently died as Const. Omar Hassan.

A statement from police chief Steve Williams on Thursday says, “Omar struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and unfortunately lost his life to the disorder.”

News of Hassan’s death was released in a statement on social media Wednesday night by Williams, who wrote he was sad to report that they lost a member of their service.

“We are offering our full support to the officer’s family and loved ones, as well as our members,” Williams’ statement reads.

Williams said Hassan was a member of the London Police Service for more than 21 years. He joined LPS in 2000 as an experienced officer from Chatham-Kent Police Service.

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He leaves behind his wife and two sons, aged 15 and 14 years.

“This loss in life is absolutely heartbreaking, and our hearts go out to the officers family, chief Williams, his team, and everyone at the London Police association, so from everyone on London City Council and staff, our deepest condolences,” London mayor Ed Holder said during the COVID-19 news briefing Thursday.

Williams said police are working to support Hassan’s family and loved ones, now and in the days ahead.

Williams went on to say that they are also focusing efforts on making sure other members dealing with mental health issues have access to the support they need.

“Raising awareness of, and having conversations about, the mental health of our members is crucial,” he wrote.

“We will continue our work towards de-stigmatization of mental illness and eliminating barriers to accessing mental health services and supports.”

London police are asking the public to respect the family’s privacy as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, go to the Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex website.

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