In less than 10 days’ time, the NYPD has lost three of its own to suicide: a respected chief, an experienced detective, and — today about 03:50 p.m. outside the Staten Island precinct at which he worked — a promising, 29-year-old police officer with six years on the job.
This is a mental-health crisis. And we — the NYPD and the law enforcement profession as a whole — absolutely must take action. This cannot be allowed to continue. 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. Please, connect yourself or your friends and colleagues to the assistance that is so close by.
We must take care of each other. We must address this issue — now — because it will not go away on its own. We must speak out. And we must end this crisis, together.
The resources (you can call for yourself or make a confidential referral for someone else) are:
- NYPD Employee Assistance Unit 646-610-6730
- NYPD Chaplains Unit 212-473-2363
- POPPA (Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance) 888-267-7267
- NYPD Crisis Text Line Text BLUE to 741741
- NYC WELL 888-NYC-WELL
- LIFELINE 800-273-8255
- Call 911 for emergencies
James P. O’Neill