Fifth NYPD Officer Dies by Suicide in the Last Two Months - NBC New York

Officers are dying by suicide. A look at the escalating mental health crisis within the NYPD

Fifth NYPD Officer Dies by Suicide in the Last Two Months

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fifth NYPD Officer Dies by Suicide in Two Months

    The department is urging employees to seek help if they need it. Drew Wilder reports.

    (Published Sunday, July 28, 2019)

    What to Know

    • A fifth NYPD officer has died by suicide in the last two months, officials said Saturday

    • Since the start of June a deputy chief, a senior detective and two patrol officers have also taken their own lives

    • NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill has described the rash of suicides as a crisis for the department

    A fifth NYPD officer has died by suicide in the last two months, escalating a recent crisis that has caused all levels of police leadership to speak out on the need for cops to look after their mental health and that of their colleagues. 

    The officer died Saturday afternoon on Staten Island, officials confirmed. The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted that the late officer was a sergeant, but beyond that details were not immediately available. 

    "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. To every member of the NYPD, please know this: it is okay to feel vulnerable," NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement released via Twitter.

    This most recent officer's death follows the June 5 suicide of Deputy Chief Steven Silks, the June 6 death of Det. Joseph Calabrese, the June 14 death of 29-year-old Officer Michael Caddy at the 121st Precinct in Staten Island and the June 27 death of Officer Kevin Preiss at his Long Island home. 

    Top Cop Speaks on Mental Health After NYPD Suicides

    [NY] Top Cop Speaks on Mental Health After NYPD Suicides
    New York City's top cop is asking members of the NYPD to seek help if they need it in the wake of the suicide deaths of two officers in less than 24 hours. David Ushery reports.
    (Published Friday, June 7, 2019)

    Last month, after the deaths of Silks and Calabrese a day apart, Commissioner O'Neill spoke exclusively with News 4 about the need for cops to seek help if they find themselves contemplating taking their own lives.

    "To have two people kill themselves within 10 hours is just - nothing brings us to our knees, but this is close," O'Neill said.

    He also sent a note to all 55,000 officers and civilian employees of the NYPD, saying in part, "before you can take care of others, it's imperative that you first take care of yourselves. Seeking help is never a sign of weakness -- it's a sign of great strength."

    The officers' deaths come after News 4 highlighted growing concerns among members of law enforcement regarding police suicides. An I-Team survey of police across the country found 78% experienced critical stress on the job, with 68% saying that stress triggered unresolved emotional issues. 

    Sixteen percent said that they had thoughts of suicide. Despite those numbers nine out of 10 officers said there is a stigma attached to seeking help. 

    "This has to be a continuous process. This has to be done at roll calls. This has to be done in video training," O'Neill said. "We need to talk about this. This can’t be a deep dark secret. People have to understand that there is help available." 

    Stigma With Seeking Help Hinders NYPD Suicide Prevention Efforts

    [NY] Stigma With Seeking Help Hinders NYPD Suicide Prevention Efforts

    As the NYPD tries to battle a suicide crisis among its officers, one thing hindering the efforts is the same thought that runs among cops — seeking help is often seen as weakness, and the repercussions are seen as a "punishment." The I-Team's Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

    (Published Thursday, July 25, 2019)

    O'Neill has asked NYPD officers and employees who need help to call the department's employee assistance hotline at 646-610-6730.

    More recent coverage:

    If you or someone you know is in a crisis, including at risk of suicide or self-harm, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Trained counselors are available 24/7.

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