‘It’s like another job:’ Victorian cops living with PTSD
A top Victorian cop suffering post-traumatic stress disorder has revealed the enormous toll the job takes on police officers.
In a powerful interview with Neil Mitchell, Senior Sergeant Michael Lamb speaks openly about the trauma of experiencing three shootings in ten months.
The incidents date back to 1990, but Sergeant Lamb still has nightmares regularly and lives with PTSD every day.
‘I liken it to another job sometimes,’ he said. ‘It’s something you have got to manage.’
Sergeant Lamb attended a drug raid in Hawthorn in August of 1990, and was involved in a physical altercation with an offender.
They wrestled over Lamb’s firearm and it discharged, shooting one of his colleagues, Ben Piper, in the chest. Piper was lucky to survive.
‘I wasn’t sure it was my gun and opening the revolver and seeing the spent round in my gun, I instantly vomited,’ he said.
‘The guilt is the thing that hangs around for me every day. I have to consciously think that Ben recovered and is well.’
Following another shooting just months later, Sergeant Lamb was hospitalised for five days after suffering a break down.
He now lectures about post-traumatic stress disorder in the community, and speaks to police recruits about the benefits of seeking counselling.
‘I’ve been very conscious of not letting PTSD rule my life and dictate who I am.
‘I’ve always tried to turn it into something positive.’
In the wide-ranging interview, Sergeant Lamb also told Neil Mitchell he felt respect for the police uniform had declined in recent years.
WATCH: Neil Mitchell interviews Senior Sergeant Michael Lamb