4 Officer Suicides in 3 Weeks: N.Y.P.D. Struggles to Dispel Mental Health Stigma
The New York Times
By Ashley Southall
June 27, 2019
First, there was the deputy chief facing mandatory retirement as his 63rd birthday approached. The next day, it was a veteran homicide detective who had talked dozens of people out of killing themselves.
Officers embraced on a street behind the 121st Precinct station house on Staten Island, where Officer Michael Caddy, 29, ended his own life on June 14.CreditCreditBryan Anselm for The New York Times
A week later, it was a young patrolman handling domestic violence cases and going through a divorce. Then on Wednesday, a veteran officer was found dead at his home on Long Island.
All four officers took their own lives this month with their service pistols, highlighting an uncomfortable reality: More police officers commit suicide every year in New York City than are killed in the line of duty, and the department’s efforts to persuade despondent officers to seek counseling have had only limited success.
Since 2014, an average of five New York City police officers have taken their own lives each year, according to the Police Department. Six have died by suicide in the last six months alone.
The recent cluster of deaths prompted Commissioner James P. O’Neill to declare a mental-health crisis and to direct officers to seek help.
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