A veteran New York City Police Department detective was found dead on June 6, hours after a former chief reportedly killed himself.
“I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why he would do this,” said a stunned police officer who knew him, according to the Post.
His death comes after Steven Silks, the NYPD deputy chief of Queens North, fatally shot himself in the head while sitting in a patrol car. He was just weeks away from his mandatory retirement.
“I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, referring to Calabrese. “Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth.”
The longtime detective 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 paper reported.
His car was found by another NYPD detective near the beach at around 3 a.m., sources told the paper.
On June 6, he didn’t show up for work, another official said.
In the search, 100 NYPD officers, helicopters, boats, and K-9 dogs were mobilized, the New York Daily News reported.
Calabrese joined the police force in 1982 and eventually rose to detective first grade, which is a high-ranking title in the NYPD, the Daily News reported. His son also works for the NYPD and is assigned to the 67th Precinct.
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. He was a one-of-a-kind, well-accomplished individual & an amazing storyteller. Steve will be missed by so many throughout the NYPD & NYC. pic.twitter.com/3dSDVZ7T22
— NYPD Queens North (@NYPDQueensNorth) June 6, 2019
“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. He was a one-of-a-kind, well-accomplished individual & an amazing storyteller. Steve will be missed by so many throughout the NYPD & NYC,” said NYPD Queens North on Twitter.
A security guard found him in his service 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, the website reported.
“I am speechless,” said Roy Richter, who is head of the Captains Endowment Association. “Steve was an incredibly dedicated and great guy. He was great at what he does. This is a terrible loss.”
He described him as an outdoorsman.
“He ran a 3:09 New York Marathon at one point in his life and reached the summit of Mount Everest,” Richter said. “He coordinated the U.S. Open on a regular basis.”
“He was part of the fabric of just about every major police event over the last couple of decades,” Richter added. “He’s a reliable guy, he’s very friendly. He was a good friend. How do you describe a good friend? He was always someone you could rely on when you needed support.”
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.