SHERBORN, MASS. (WHDH) - A Sherborn Police officer set out on foot across the length of Massachusetts, armed only with a paper map for navigation, for a cause that’s personal to him.
Officer Doug Kingsley is setting off from Egremont on the New York border. Over 200 miles later, he will end up at the Chatham Lighthouse.
He’s setting off on this journey in memory of a fellow officer who graduated from the Police Academy with him who took his own life a year ago.
“It hit me pretty hard, it hit my classmates pretty hard,” Kingsley said. “He was a great individual, great kid, one of the nicest kids I’ve ever met.”
Suicide has become a troubling trend among first responders, so with his walk, Kingsley hopes to raise $10,000 for Blue H.E.L.P., an organization that tracks first responder suicides.
“We don’t want to talk about it,” Kingsley said. “We don’t want to show the emotion or express our feelings or bring up these tough subjects– what we’ve seen, what we’ve done, that sort of thing.
Kingsley aims to walk 15 to 20 miles per day and hear the stories of other departments along his journey. He also hopes to remind fellow officers that although some days may feel like an uphill battle, there’s always a path forward.
“You’re not going about this alone,” he said. “You have people who love you and people who care for you.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 via a call or text to 988.
To learn more about Kingsley’s journey, click here. To donate to his GoFundMe page, click here.
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