'This is a mental-health crisis': Officer's death is 3rd NYPD suicide in 9 days

Adam Warner
June 14, 2019 - 5:06 pm
Staten Island officer suicide

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- An NYPD officer killed himself behind a Staten Island precinct on Friday in the third department suicide in less than 10 days amid what the police commissioner calls a "mental-health crisis." 

The officer was found shot in the head on Wilcox Street, near the 121st Precinct stationhouse, shortly before 4 p.m., according to police.

Police confirmed that the 29-year-old officer died of an apparent suicide -- the third NYPD officer suicide in just nine days.

Deputy Chief Steven J. Silks, 62, took his life last Wednesday in a parking lot near the 112th Precinct in Queens.

The next day, a missing 58-year-old detective, Joseph Calabrese, was found dead in a suicide near Brooklyn's Plumb Beach.

In the wake of last week's losses, NYPD officials have been urging members to ask for help if they or someone they know is suffering from emotional distress.

Commissioner James P. O’Neill released a statement Friday evening, saying: "In less than 10 days’ time, the NYPD has lost three of its own to suicide: a respected chief, an experienced detective, and — today about 3:50 p.m. outside the Staten Island precinct at which he worked — a promising, 29-year-old police officer with six years on the job."

"This is a mental-health crisis," O'Neill continued. "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'Neill said officers should take advantage of these resources:

NYPD-SPECIFIC

- Employee Assistance Unit: 646.610.6730

- Chaplains Unit: 212.473.2363

- POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888.267.7267

OUTSIDE OPTIONS

- NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat www.nyc.gov/nycwell

- Lifeline: 800.273.TALK (8255)

- Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)

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