A New York police officer reportedly killed himself on Friday, June 15. The officer, who is currently unidentified, is the third officer to have died by suspected suicide over the past nine days, according to local reports.
The NYPD officer reportedly shot himself on Staten Island, according to CBS New York. Police sources told the station that he was found in a locked car behind the 121st Precinct. He was found on Wilcox Street in the Graniteville section of the island, NBC New York reported.
The deceased officer is a 29-year-old man who had been with the department for six years, police said.
The off-duty officer who found him called 911 immediately.
Following the third reported suicide death, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told NBC New York the situation was “a mental health crisis.”
“Before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves,” O’Neill’s statement read, according to the news outlet. “There is no shame in seeking assistance from the many resources available, both inside and outside the department.
“We must take care of each other. We must address this issue—now—because it will not go away on its own. We must speak out. And we must end this crisis, together.”
Two NYPD Suicides Last Week: Reports
Just last week, two NYPD officers reportedly committed suicide within 24 hours.
Joe Calabrese, 58, died on June 6. The veteran New York City Police Department detective’s body was found near bushes in Plumb Beach, Brooklyn.
“I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association. “Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth,” he said.
Calabrese was last heard from at around 2 a.m. after leaving Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park. His wife had undergone a medical procedure, the New York Post reported.
Prior to the discovery of his body, his car was found by another NYPD detective on the Belt Parkway in Sheepshead Bay at around 3 a.m., according to NBC New York.
He had been with the department for 37 years.
On the day prior, June 5, Steven Silks, NYPD deputy chief of Queens North, was found in his patrol car in civilian clothes with a gun next to him, according to Officer.com.
He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, but he couldn’t be revived, according to the report.
Silks had served the police department for nearly 39 years, and was just weeks away from mandatory retirement.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Dep. Chief Steve Silks (XO-PBQN) passed away yesterday after nearly 40 yrs of dedicated service,” NYPD Queens North wrote on Twitter.
“He was a one-of-a-kind, well-accomplished individual & an amazing storyteller. Steve will be missed by so many throughout the NYPD & NYC.”
“I am speechless,” Roy Richter, who is head of the Captains Endowment Association, told the New York Daily News. “Steve was an incredibly dedicated and great guy. He was great at what he does. This is a terrible loss.”
Deputy Chief Steve Silks was a friend & a great cop dedicated to service for 38 years. As we mourn his tragic loss, know YOU’RE NEVER ALONE — no matter your rank or time on the job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Share this video to provide options for assistance. #StopSuicide pic.twitter.com/yXeSWLVxQ5
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 6, 2019
NYPD Commissioner O’Neill last week urged cops to seek help.
“To the cops here today, I need you to know that help is available to you,” O’Neill said on June 6, the New York Post reported. “Help is here, you are never alone. What seems unbearable today will be more manageable tomorrow.”
According to preliminary data from Blue H.E.L.P., a non-profit organization run by current and retired officers, suicides by police officers have exceeded all line-of-duty deaths combined for three years in a row. In 2018, officer-suicides surpassed line-of-duty deaths by 9 percent.
If you are in an emergency in the United States or Canada, please call 911. You can phone the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1 800 273 8255. Youth can call the Kids Help Phone on 1800 668 6868.
In Australia, the suicide prevention telephone hotline at Lifeline is 13 11 14. You can also visit the Lifeline website at lifeline.org.au. Youth can contact the Kids Helpline by phoning 1800 551 800 or visiting headspace.org.au/yarn-safe
If you are in an emergency in India, call Befrienders India–National Association at +91 33 2474 4704.