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Two NYPD officers died by suicide in 24 hours. The commissioner has a message for America's largest police force
By Shimon Prokupecz
Updated 6:20 AM ET, Fri June 7, 2019
"Seeking help is never a sign of weakness -- it's a sign of great strength. Trained members will listen and connect you with even more help, around the clock. I implore you to seek out -- or to help others find -- the assistance that is so readily available to us all." Commissioner James O'Neill
Police are lit by flashing lights as they stand in formation while the casket of slain New York City Police (NYPD) officer Randolph Holder is carried from the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York following his funeral service in the Queens borough of New York City, October 28, 2015. Holder's funeral comes more than a week after he was shot to death while on patrol in New York City's East Harlem neighborhood. He is the fourth New York City officer to be killed on duty in the last 12 months. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
New York (CNN)Two members of the New York Police Department died by suicide within the course of 24 hours, Commissioner James O'Neill said Thursday.
In a note to members of the department, he encouraged individuals to seek help, if needed.
The NYPD is the largest police department in the United States, with approximately 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees.
O'Neill's message reads in full:
"We are mourning the death of two members of our NYPD family this week, both of whom died by suicide in separate incidents less than 24 hours apart.
"Whether you are depressed, going through a separation, having financial difficulties, feeling anxiety, or anything else, you are never alone. Nothing is ever hopeless.
"We cannot hide from this incredibly important discussion. We must not pretend that these things don't happen, or that such tragic deaths are somehow a fact of life. Importantly, we cannot sit idly by and just pray that they don't happen again. We have to take action now. We have to discuss mental health.
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