[Editor’s note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).]
The commissioner of the country's largest police force said the department had a "crisis" after three officers committed suicide in 10 days.
New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill described Friday's situation as a "mental health crisis" and said that law enforcement as a whole "must take action."
THEIR SUICIDE TO THE UPPER POLICE, THE UNION SAYS THE VILIFICATION OF THE MEDIA IS THE "MAIN CAUSE OF DESPAIR"
His remarks followed the death of 29-year-old agent Michael Caddy. The officer was killed around 3:50 pm on Friday outside the city of Staten Island where he was working.
Caddy, a six-year veteran of the force, used a gun to shoot a car, the Daily News reported. He was divorcing and leaves behind his wife and a young child.
ABUSE OF SUBSTANCES IN VETERANS AFTER INCREASING THE RISK OF MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, STUDY
Deputy Chief Steven Silks, a 39-year-old New York Police Veteran, described by O'Neill as "one of the most competent and reliable cops in this profession," was found dead in Queens on June 5 as a result of a self-inflicted bullet wound. .
The next day, the body of 58-year-old detective Joseph Calabrese was found in Brooklyn. Department head Terence Monahan said Calabrese "has ensured the safety of New Yorkers for nearly four decades."
Suicides, said the police commissioner, "can not continue."
"The cops spend so much time helping others, but before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we help ourselves first," he said, urging those who may need help asking for mental health help. "Accepting help is never a sign of weakness, in fact, it is a sign of great strength."
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Mayor Bill de Blasio shared the same sentiments, urging NYPD members to "ask for help" when needed.
According to Blue HELP, a non-profit organization that tracks suicides by law enforcement, at least 91 police officers committed suicide in 2019. Over the last decade, 48 police officers in New York have committed suicide, reported the New York Times.