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Aug 16, 2010 8:19 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Border Patrol sees spike in suicides

U.S. Border Patrol agents are killing themselves in greater numbers, after nearly four years without one suicide.

Records obtained by The Associated Press show that at least 15 agents have taken their own lives since February 2008. It's the largest spike in suicides the agency has seen in at least 20 years.

It's unclear exactly why the men ended their lives. Few left notes.

Federal officials insist the deaths have nothing to do with the agency or the increasingly volatile U.S.-Mexico border. But administrators have quietly undertaken urgent suicide-prevention initiatives. Those include special training for supervisors, videos about warning signs and educational programs for 22,000 agents nationwide.

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