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NYPD mourns 5th officer to commit suicide in 2 months, reminds cops 'it is OK to feel vulnerable...OK to seek help'

July 27, 2019 - 6:55 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Another NYPD officer has taken his own life — the fifth to do so in just two months, the NYPD confirmed Saturday night.

He is the seventh member of the department to die by suicide this year, according to police.

"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," NYPD commissioner James O'Neill said in a statement about the officer, who died at his home on Staten Island Saturday afternoon. "To every member of the NYPD, please know this: it is okay to feel vulnerable."

He continued, "It is okay if you are facing struggles. And it is okay to seek help from others. You may not know this, and it may be hard to imagine, but you are not out there all by yourself. More people than you know, who wear the same uniform as you do, share the same doubts and fears and struggles that you do. Seeking help is strength. Talking about your problems is strength. Acknowledging you need a place to turn is strength."

He concluded saying, "There is no shame here — only a promise to provide you with the help and support you need and deserve."

"Once again terrible news," the Sergeants Benevolent Association said in a statement. "Tonight the NYPD lost a sergeant to suicide. We ask that everyone pray for his family, friends and Co-workers. The NYPD continues to go through a difficult time. We know you won’t call the Dept if you need help please call the SBA please!

Mayor Bill de Blasio also released a statement, saying "Tonight our city mourns at the news that we’ve lost another NYPD officer to suicide. 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."

No other details about the officer were immediately available.

On June 26, 53-year-old Kevin Preiss became the fourth NYPD officer to commit suicide this summer.

Then on June 14, 29-year-old Officer Michael Caddy died by suicide on Staten Island.

Deputy Chief Steven Silks, 62, and Det. Joseph Calabrese, 58, died days before Caddy, on June 5 and 6, respectively.

After the back-to-back deaths of Silks and Calabrese, Commissioner James P. O’Neill said the NYPD was experiencing a "mental-health crisis."

"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 at the time.

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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