A 29-year-old New York Police Department officer died Friday in an apparent suicide, making it the third suspected suicide in the department in less than two weeks. “This is a mental-health crisis,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement Friday.
The NYPD said the officer, who was not identified, shot himself near a Staten Island precinct. He had been in the NYPD for six years.
The officer’s death comes just one week after two detectives died in apparent suicides in less than 24 hours. Deputy Chief Steven Silks’ body was found near Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on June 5, according to The New York Times. Police said the 64-year-old police veteran died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. One day later, Detective Joseph Calabrese, 58, was found on a beach near the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, also from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
O’Neill promised the NYPD would take “immediate action.”
“This cannot be allowed to continue,” O’Neill said. “Cops spend so much of their days assisting others. But before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves. There is no shame in seeking assistance from the many resources available, both inside and outside the department. Accepting help is never a sign of weakness — in fact, it’s a sign of great strength.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is working with the NYPD to “put resources front and center so that our officers have every possible support.”
“Three brave members of our police force have taken their lives in recent days,” he tweeted. “All of them led lives that made their communities better. All of their lives had meaning.”