What to Know
- A missing NYPD homicide detective has been found dead, according to law enforcement; Joseph Calebrese was discovered in Brooklyn
- Calabrese’s death marks a tragic 24 hours for the NYPD, after another well-respected officer was found dead in an apparent suicide Wednesday
- If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
A missing NYPD homicide detective has been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to law enforcement, marking the second high-profile NYPD suicide in just 24 hours.
The body of Brooklyn Detective Joseph Calabrese was found in Plumb Beach Thursday afternoon, after a sprawling law enforcement response following reports the officer had gone missing. Officers could be seen combing through sand and thick brush during their search in Sheepshead Bay, ultimately finding Calabrese in the bushes along the beach 14 hours later, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.
Law enforcement sources told NBC 4 Calabrese's black Cadillac XTS had been found near the Belt Parkway in the same area earlier in the day. Before discovering his car, Calabrese’s license plate was captured on a reader on the Belt Parkway going east near the Verrazano Bridge around 2 a.m. after leaving the Maimonides Medical Center, where his wife was having a minor procedure done.
Calabrese, 58, was a homicide detective in Brooklyn South and the chairman for the board of trustees for the Detectives’ Endowment Association. The Brooklyn resident was with the NYPD for 37 years. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
"I am shocked and shattered beyond belief," said Michael Palladino, the president of the Detectives' Endowment Association. "Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth."
Calabrese’s death marks a tragic 24 hours for the NYPD. Steven Silks, a well-respected deputy chief who served the city for 38 years, took his own life Tuesday evening. He was found with a gunshot wound to his head inside his unmarked police car in Forest Hills. The 62-year-old Silks was just weeks away from retirement, a face that had been making him sad of late, friends told News 4.
The deaths of both cops comes after News 4 highlighted growing concerns among members of law enforcement regarding officers taking their own lives. An I-Team survey of police 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.