NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The mental health crisis plaguing the NYPD claimed another life Saturday.
Authorities have confirmed to CBS2 that an off-duty sergeant fatally shot himself in the New Dorp section of Staten Island around 4 p.m.
Once again terrible news. Tonight the NYPD lost a sergeant to suicide. We ask that everyone pray for his family, friends and Co-workers. The NYPD continues to go through a difficult time. We know you won’t call the Dept if you need help please call the SBA please! 🙏➕👮♀️🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/e473M5MuWK
— SBA (@SBANYPD) July 27, 2019
There have now been five NYPD suicides so far this summer and seven total this year.
NYPD Commissioner Jame O’Neill — who has already called the spike in police suicides a mental health crisis — issued the following statement Saturday night:
“The tragic news today that another member of the NYPD has been lost to suicide breaks our hearts, and is a deep sorrow felt by all of New York City. To every member of the NYPD, please know this: it is okay to feel vulnerable. It is okay if you are facing struggles. And it is okay to seek help from others. You may not know this, and it may be hard to imagine, but you are not out there all by yourself. More people than you know, who wear the same uniform as you do, share the same doubts and fears and struggles that you do. Seeking help is strength. Talking about your problems is strength. Acknowledging you need a place to turn is strength. There is no shame here — only a promise to provide you with the help and support you need and deserve.”
Staten Island district attorney Michael McMahon expressed his sadness on Twitter shortly after the tragedy and urged police officers to seek help if they feel troubled.
Tonight, all of Staten Island is grieving with the family and loved ones of Sgt Terrance McAvoy and the entire @NYPDnews family. Another tragedy has claimed a member of the Finest far too soon
— Michael E. McMahon (@StatenIslandDA) July 28, 2019
The NYPD also listed the following resources for officers in need of help.
- Employee Assistance Unit: 646-610-6730
- Chaplains Unit: 212-473-2363
- POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888-267-7267
- NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat www.nyc.gov/nycwell
- Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)
- Call 911 for emergencies