A recently-promoted NYPD officer has taken his own life, marking the seventh police suicide in New York City this year.
The man, whose name has not yet been made public, was found dead inside his Staten Island home on Saturday afternoon.
The former transit cop, who had just been promoted to sergeant, reportedly killed himself with a shotgun. He was off-duty at the time.
The NYPD is grappling with a spike in the suicide rate of its officers – with five cops having taken their own lives since the beginning of June.
In a statement shared late Saturday, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: ‘The tragic news today that another member of the NYPD has been lost to suicide breaks our hearts, and is a deep sorrow felt by all of New York City.’
A recently-promoted NYPD officer has taken his own life, marking the seventh police suicide in New York City this year
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio also shared his sorrow about the news, and urged any officers who were struggling with their mental health to speak up.
‘These tragedies cannot continue. We cannot lose any more of our officers. We cannot leave parents, spouses and children at home waiting for loved ones who will not return,’ he said.
The tragic news comes after officer Kevin Preiss, 53, a veteran cop assigned to the Bronx, was found dead at his home on Long Island with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on June 26.
Kevin Preiss was a veteran cop assigned to the Bronx (pictured sitting at center front with fellow members of his department). He was found dead at his home on Long Island on June 26
On June 14, Police Officer Michael Caddy, 29, died after shooting himself in the head inside a car parked on a Staten Island street, behind the 121st Precinct. An off-duty officer discovered him.
Deputy Chief Steven Silks, 62, was found dead in a police vehicle in Queens on June 5, a month before his mandatory retirement and having spent 38 years on the force.
The next day, NYPD officers found the body of missing detective, Joseph Calabrese, 58, at a Brooklyn beach. He had been on the force for 37 years.
Police say both died from self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the head.
Two officers died in suspected suicides within 24 hours of each other last week. Deputy Chief Steven Silks (left) was found dead in a police vehicle in Queens on June 5. Detective Joseph Calabrese (right) was found the next day at a Brooklyn beach
The suicides have stunned the nation’s largest police department, causing police leadership to speak out about a mental health crisis.
Michael Caddy, 29, a six-year veteran of the force, shot himself in the head on June 14
Commissioner O’Neill released a statement on June 14, remembering the officers who had taken their lives and calling on the department to ‘end the crisis together’.
‘This is a mental-health crisis,’ he said in the statement. ‘And we — the NYPD and the law enforcement profession as a whole — absolutely must take action. This cannot be allowed to continue.
‘Cops spend so much of their days assisting others. But before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves.’
O’Neil advocated for officers and NYPD personnel to seek out assistance when needed – and that seeking it isn’t a sign of weakness but of ‘great strength’.
The NYPD officers’ suicides come amid a rising nationwide trend: At least 167 officers died by suicide in 2018. A hundred officers have so far taken their lives in 2019, according to Blue HELP, a Massachusetts-based organization devoted to preventing police suicides.
For confidential support in the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here.
For confidential support on suicide matters in the UK, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, visit a local Samaritans branch or click here.
For confidential support in Australia, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or click here.
The suicides have stunned the nation’s largest police department, causing police leadership to speak out about a mental health crisis
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill released a statement on June 14 remembering the officers who had taken their lives and asserting that the department ‘must end the crisis together’