An NYPD officer fatally shot himself at the NYPD Auto Crime and Narcotics Division on Abbott St. in Wakefield at around 10:50 a.m on Friday, April 20. He is the 4th NYPD officer to commit suicide in the last few months. But it’s not just an NYPD phenomenon, it happens way too often.
According to the New York Daily News,
“Police sources said the cop worked in the Bronx, but it was not immediately clear if he was assigned to the Auto Crime and Narcotics Division.
Cops were first alerted to the incident by Mount Vernon police who had received a 911 call from a panicked relative, who said the cop was planning to harm himself, police sources said.
The cop is the fourth NYPD officer to take his own life this year.”
According to the Badge of Life website, the average number of police suicides is around 130 and has varied from 141 in 2008 to the 140 total in 2017. In 2016, there were 108. That’s about 12 per 100,000. But it’s not the dry statistics that are important, just like for veterans, it’s their lives that matter.
Blue Lives Matter noted,
No police officer ever wants to admit that a call has affected them emotionally. No police officer wants to show weakness when a child dies in their arms. No police officer wants to admit that they are having financial troubles, or that their marriage is falling apart, or that they have alienated themselves from their children because they work so many overtime hours. This lack of communication leads to walls, which leads to solitude, which leads to depression, which, when not addressed, leads to suicide.
PTSD is a real issue for both law enforcement and veterans. And Blue Lives Matter is correct: no one wants to admit ‘weakness,’ and will sometimes go to great lengths to deny they are struggling. We may not know what a police officer – or veteran – is facing in their personal lives. But we can pay attention better, and reach out with encouragement whenever possible.