Hero Down: Nashua Police Captain Jonathan 'Jon' Lehto Dies By Suicide

Nashua Police Department Captain Jonathan Lehto served his department for two decades.

Seattle, WA – Nashua Police Department (NPD) Captain Jonathan “Jon” Lehto died by suicide while he was visiting his family in Seattle on Sept. 9, according to his department.

The 47-year-old captain grew up in the Nashua, New Hampshire community that he later spent two decades serving, Nashua Police Chief Michael Carignan said in a press release on Sept. 12.

“From early on, Jon wanted to be a police officer,” Chief Carignan said.

But before he joined NPD, Capt. Lehto first earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor Degrees, and was later admitted to the New Hampshire Bar Association.

He was hired by the NPD in 1999, and initially served several years in the Patrol Division.

Capt. Lehto was later transferred to the department’s Detective Bureau, “where he spent much of his time handling juvenile related matters, sexual assault investigations, and other complex cases,” Chief Carignan wrote.

The chief praised Capt. Lehto’s “leadership, knowledge, and demeanor,” and described him as a “skillful and well-regarded patrol supervisor and detective supervisor.”

The veteran officer was later transferred to NPD’s Legal Bureau, where he worked as a police prosecutor.

“Jon was considered a colleague by Judges, public defenders, and other attorneys,” Chief Carignan said. “Jon’s legal expertise allowed him to provide valuable guidance to his fellow officers as well as the [NPD’s] Executive Office.”

Capt. Lehto was commander of the department’s Detective Bureau at the time of his death, the chief said.

He was also a member of the SWAT team, and at one point oversaw the agency’s Crime Scene Unit.

Capt. Lehto was the recipient of numerous letters of appreciation from local citizens and organizations, and also received a slew of commendations during his 20 years of “unblemished” service, according to the chief.

“We at the Nashua Police Department were stunned to learn Jon died by suicide,” Chief Carignan wrote in the release. “Jon ended his life early and we don’t know why. We are all left with questions which may never be answered.”

Capt. Lehto leaves behind his wife, his family, and many friends.

“With the support of Jon’s family, we want to share the circumstances of his death,” the chief continued. “Suicide is a national issue which does not exclude the first responder community. Only recently has it become more openly acknowledged and discussed.”

He noted that the highly-decorated captain’s death was proof that “we must deal with this truth…we are not immune to this reality.”

“The Nashua Police Department and Jon’s family acknowledge that suicide amongst law enforcement and other first responders is an epidemic,” Chief Carignan wrote. “Jon spent his career helping people. We are hopeful that by not remaining silent about Jon’s death by suicide, we can honor who he truly was and encourage others to reach out for help.”

Capt. Lehto’s visitation was held on Tuesday, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Nashua Police Department Captain Jonathan “Jon” Lehto, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Comments (23)
No. 1-9
Justretired
Justretired

Dammit, rest easy brother and be at peace.

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

When a man of immense dedication fearlessly endeavours to lift the weight of the world, he may sometimes not maintain his own balance in the picture. He lives and breathes the code of service, and fighting crime is a vocation with no final conclusion. If giving too much was his fault, then so much more was he a selfless guardian. Thank you, Sir.

TWalters
TWalters

Why does blue lives matter insist on labeling people that commit suicide a hero. Sad? Yes, but suicide is not heroic, it’s a selfish and cowardice act.

Lynviking
Lynviking

Dumb ass

tfort
tfort

Not enough information to call him a “hero”. Was he caught in an affair, caught with child pornography, guilty conscience, failed marriage, drug / alcohol addiction?

Let’s wait and get the complete story.

Diana B
Diana B

Suicide is neither cowardly nor selfish!! When a person kills themselves, it is because PAIN (physical or emotional) is at a level they can no longer deal with! Making the choice to leave your family and friends seems to be a better choice than having them deal with YOUR pain! One person cannot measure the amount of pain another person can handle! It is very sad when a person decides that they can no longer live with themselves, yet DO NOT MAKE THE DECISION TO GET HELP!! Educate yourself about suicide, Pray for understanding about people who are thinking about ending their lives. Make yourself available to LISTEN to your friends and family WITHOUT giving advice. MOST OF THE TIME, a suicidal person only needs to talk, and needs a tight hug. Most of all DON'T JUDGE another persons pain!!!

pamela2262
pamela2262

TWalters..... If you could spell and use the proper words in your messages then your message may carry more weight. Instead you shared your opinion that is absurd and can't even use the proper verbage to do so. And nobody really cares what you think. And if you served 20 years as a law enforcement officer and sacrificed and risked all that you did, then I would consider you also a hero. But you could use an attitude adjustment.

Hulk1448
Hulk1448

Rest In Peace Captain Thank You for your service God bless your Family and all the men and women that serve at the Nashua police Dept🙏

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

This is almost at an epidemic proportion now. I recently had a friend, who is a CO, confide in me about his depression and thoughts. I mulled it over all for about 8 seconds and then decided that his life was far too precious to not say something. He has decided to cut me out of his life and I sincerely hope it's temporary, but I would rather lose him temporarily than permanently. He isn't losing his job, but he is getting the help he needs for himself and his family; his girls. I know I made the right decision.

I don't understand the thought process and mentality behind this thinking or why it creeps in there. The only thing I can think of is that we as LEO's see the worst in humanity on a daily basis. Whether it's sheer stupidity or down right depravity. It wears on you, but I know and I look for the good in people.