A “mental health crisis” is taking over the boys in blue within NYC after the third NYPD officer committed suicide within nine days of each other.
After an officer within the New York Police Department killed himself Friday, he became the third officer to die by suicide since last week. The 29-year-old officer shot himself outside a Staten Island precinct, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed in a statement Friday. Authorities did not give information about the officer’s identity.
“This cannot be allowed to continue,” O’Neill said in a statement. “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 urged officers to seek professional help through department resources and called it “imperative” for officers to take care of each other.
“Accepting help is never a sign of weakness — in fact, it’s a sign of great strength,” O’Neill said. “Please connect yourself or your friends and colleagues to the assistance that is so close by.”
62-year-old Deputy Chief Steven Silks was found dead on June 5 in Queens just days ahead of his retirement. 58-year-old Brooklyn Detective Joseph Calabrese was reported missing the day after Silks’ death after his car was found on the Belt Parkway in Sheepshead Bay. Calabrese was later found dead in Plumb Beach, NBC New York reports.
“To the cops here today, I need you to know that help is available to you,” O’Neill said. “Help is here, you are never alone. What seems unbearable today will be more manageable tomorrow.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office was working with the NYPD to put resources “front and center” for officers.
“Three brave members of our police force have taken their lives in recent days,” de Blasio said in a statement released on Friday evening. “All of them led lives that made their communities better. All of their lives had meaning.”
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