Retired NYPD officer dies by suicide in Staten Island: source

STATEN ISLAND — A retired NYPD officer died by suicide Monday night, a law enforcement source told PIX11 News.

The man shot and killed himself at his home in Staten Island, the source said. He was a retired transit sergeant, according to the New York Post.

His death is the latest in what has become an epidemic for the police department.

Nine NYPD officers — not including the retired sergeant, whose name has not been released — have died by suicide this year.

“I know from my 22 years wearing a blue uniform that you can internalize the trauma you witness on a daily basis. I also know how difficult it can be to admit that you are struggling,” said former officer and current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Councilman Donovan Richards of Queens called the string of suicides a crisis.

“We have to come together as a city to do everything we can to provide more services for officers who don’t want to jeopardize their career,” he tweeted after Robert Echeverría shot and killed himself in mid-August, the seventh officer to die by suicide since June.

PIX11 has organized resources available to officers and their loved ones here, at PIX11.com/OfficerMentalHealth.

The NYPD offers multiple resources for the emotional and physical toll the job takes on those in the force.

On their website, the NYPD lists numbers for their Employee Assistance Unit, Chaplain’s Unit, peer assistance program, and other resources.

The NYPD also recommends POPPA — Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance. It’s a “volunteer police support network committed exclusively to providing a confidential, safe and supportive environment for police officers and retirees.” Their helpline is 1-888-COPS-COP (1-888-267-7267).

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). It’s a free, 24/7 service that offers support, information, and local resources. You can also click here for additional hotlines within the tri-state area and the nation.

Depression and suicidal thoughts are often exhibited in many ways. Warning signs for suicide can include, but are not limited to, talking about wanting to die; conveying feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or being a burden; and displaying extreme moods.

If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention advises that you do not leave the person alone, call a prevention hotline, and take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

For more information on suicide prevention, including additional resources and warning signs, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.

Reporting from PIX11’s Nicole Johnson was used in this story.

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