On Tuesday night the tenth NYPD police officer committed suicide this year. It’s the thirteenth when you include retired officers.
This is now more than double the annual average, according to NYPD statistics.
The latest is an off-duty Queens, NY sergeant found in his home by his wife around 8 pm Tuesday evening with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.
While many of the officers were patrolman, the number of NYPD brass is unsettling. In June Deputy Chief Steven Silks, 62, was found in a Queens parking lot just hours after handing in his mandatory retirement paperwork.
A day later decorated veteran NYPD homicide detective Joe Calabrese, 58, was found dead of a self-inflicted gun shot near bushes in Plumb Beach in Brooklyn.
In late July, Sergeant Terrance McAvoy, 30, was found dead inside his Staten Island home with a gun near his body.
“It is a mental health crisis in the NYPD,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at the time of the prior suicide. “We’ve had nine suicides so far this year. Prior to that, we average four to five per year for the last five years,” O’Neill added.
These fateful events at the NYPD are eerily similar to the more than 40 financial-industry suicides between late 2014 and early 2015. While no conclusive results of a common cause were noted by authorities at the time, my reporting indicated that many of the self-deaths could be traced to the unfolding of the LIBOR banking scandal.
The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is (800) 273-8255.