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NYPD Addressing ‘Mental Health Crisis’ After 5th Police Suicide Since June

July 29, 2019 - 3:12 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — Authorities say an NYPD sergeant fatally shot himself over the weekend, marking the fifth police suicide since June.

The sergeant, whose identity has not been released, was found dead in his Staten Island home on Saturday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "These tragedies cannot continue. We cannot lose any more of our officers.'' De Blasio urged any officer who is in need to ask for help.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill has called the string of suicides a “mental health crisis” and says the NYPD is not working to retrain top officials.

“Educate them about the facts and realities of what really happens with respect to why we take guns, when we take guns, how quickly we get him back to our offices, whether we are punishing people when they come forward, we're not,” said First Deputy Benjamin Tucker.

He notes that there are a lot of myths out there that prevent officers from seeking help.

Related: Officer Kills Self On Long Island; 4th NYPD Suicide This Month

“Many of them, most of them, are unfounded, and so, what we want to make sure is that we put the right information out there,” Tucker said.

The department is also in the process of putting together a peer counselor program for every precinct and training commanding officers to intervene if they noticed a colleague is struggling.

In wake of the recent tragedies, the NYPD has listed the following resources for officers in need of help.

  • Employee Assistance Unit: 646-610-6730
  • Chaplains Unit: 212-473-2363
  • POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888-267-7267
  • NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat www.nyc.gov/nycwell
  • Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)
  • Call 911 for emergencies

(© 2019 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)