NYPD Deputy Chief With 38 Years of Service Takes His Own Life

The 62-year-old was a member of the NYPD for 38 years, and friends told News 4 he was just weeks away from retirement

What to Know

  • A well-known, well-respected NYPD deputy chief took his own life Wednesday after spending nearly four decades serving New York City
  • Steven Silks was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head inside his unmarked police car in Forest Hills
  • The 62-year-old was a member of the NYPD for 38 years, and friends told News 4 he was just weeks away from retirement

A well-known, well-respected NYPD deputy chief took his own life Wednesday after spending nearly four decades serving New York City.

Steven Silks was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head inside his unmarked police car in Forest Hills. A passerby noticed the tragic scene along Tennis Place and Burns Street around 6:45 p.m. and called 9-1-1.

The 62-year-old was a member of the NYPD for 38 years, and friends told News 4 he was just weeks away from retirement — a fact that had made him sad of late.

Silks did not have children, his sister was notified of his death later in the evening. Friends said to remember the charities and community events Silks helped run, including helping at a children’s hospital in Queens last holiday season.

The suicide comes after News 4 recently highlighted growing concerns among members of law enforcement regarding officers taking their own lives. In 2017, 140 police men and women took their own lives, with a higher per capita rate than the civilian population.

An I-Team survey of cops across the country found 78 percent experienced critical stress on the job, with 68 percent saying that stress triggered unresolved emotional issues.

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

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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