The suicides of two New York Police Department (NYPD) officers within a two-day period have prompted officials to urge members of the 36,000-member force to seek help when they need it.
“No situation is hopeless,” Chief Terence Monahan said in a video posted on Twitter. “You put strangers first every day. Now it’s time to prioritize your own health and well-being. And don’t forget to check in with your fellow cops.”
Deputy Chief Steve Silks was a friend & a great cop dedicated to service for 38 years. As we mourn his tragic loss, know YOU’RE NEVER ALONE — no matter your rank or time on the job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Share this video to provide options for assistance. #StopSuicide pic.twitter.com/yXeSWLVxQ5
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 6, 2019
Veteran deputy chief Steven Silks, 62, on Wednesday was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the neighborhood where he worked, The New York Times reported.
A day later, the body of longtime homicide detective Joe Calabrese, 58, was found near a beach in Brooklyn after a massive search. Calabrese joined the NYPD in 1982 and has a son on the force, the New York Port reported.
Silks was weeks away from his scheduled mandatory retirement. They served a combined 75 years with the NYPD.
“To the cops here today, I need you to know, help is available to you,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a news conference Thursday, the Times reported. “Help is here, you are never alone.”
Last year marked the third year in a row in which suicides reportedly outnumbered deaths in the line of duty, according to data from Massachusetts nonprofit Blue H.E.L.P.
“You would never hesitate to respond to a cop calling for help over the radio. This is no different,” Monahan said in the video. “You may save a life.”