PARIS - French police officers are calling for an urgent meeting with Interior minister Christophe Castaner after two of their colleagues killed themselves this week, taking the number of suicides in police ranks to 28 since the start of the year.

According to the Interior Ministry's numbers, 68 officers took their own lives in 2018.

Police unions called for silent protests Friday at local stations in a tribute to the officers. According to Le Monde newspaper, a 48-year-old police captain took his own life with his gun on Thursday inside a police station in the southern city of Montpellier, and a 25-year-old policeman was found dead at his home in a Paris suburb.

Unions said a plan set up last year to prevent suicide should "become a national cause and declared a ministerial priority."