7 NYPD Officers Kill Themselves In 2 Months, PD Responds With More Training

Nine New York police officers have committed suicide in 2019.

New York, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) is reeling from a rash of officer suicides that are now approximately double the yearly average the agency has experienced in recent years.

Nine NYPD officers have taken their own lives in 2019, and seven of those suicides have occurred since June, CNN reported.

The department has experienced an average of four or five officer suicides each year since 2014, according to New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

“This is just absolutely devastating to each and every member of this police department,” Commissioner O’Neill said during an interview with WINS on Thursday. “But it’s real, it’s happening, and we have to take care of each other.”

The commissioner said that investigators have not found any common threads among the officers’ suicides, but acknowledged that there can be a “contagion effect” when an officer ends his or her own life.

In 1994, the department experienced a rash of 12 officer suicides, he told WINS.

“Just take a look what police officers do every day in this city,” Commissioner O’Neill said. “They go out of their way to help people that they don’t even know…and there’s no hesitation to help those people. We have to do the same with each other.”

“Look at the trauma police officers are exposed to every day,” he added. “Think about the shootings, homicides, vehicle accidents, kids that are injured…the trauma that [officers] hold within themselves…then add in their personal lives and any issues they might have personally.”

Commissioner O’Neill said the most important change that needs to be made is for officers to feel safe and supported enough to seek out help.

“It’s not a sign of weakness to come forward for help,” he continued. “It’s a sign of strength. We want you to get better.”

Commissioner O’Neill discussed multiple programs the department is implementing in an effort to provide much-needed resources for the city’s law enforcement officers.

One such resource is the Employee’s Assistance Unit smartphone app.

"Press on that app and it'll give you everything you need to know where help is, and most importantly, what the signs of suicide are," Commissioner O'Neill explained. "I urge every member of the department, as soon as that appears on your phone, take a look at it."

NYPD is also working to establish mental health services for officers who want to speak with someone outside the department, the commissioner said.

“We’re entering into a partnership with a major medical center in New York City right now that will have availability to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even by phone and Facetime, and will get [officers] an appointment within 24 hours,” he explained.

That service will be anonymous, the commissioner added.

NYPD also has a crisis text line, and is working to expand the insurance coverage network of mental health providers to give officers more options.

The department recently sent representatives to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to learn more about the programs they have in place to assist their officers, and has also reached out to other large departments and members of the medical community for guidance, Commissioner O’Neill told WINS.

LAPD has not experienced a report of a suicide by one of its officers since July of 2017, BuzzFeed News reported.

Clinical psychologist Denise Jablonski-Kaye, who is also the commanding officer of the LAPD’s behavioral science services, said that the department has 16 clinical psychologists on staff full-time.

Each of those providers is assigned to a station, jump in with police for ride-alongs, and provide limitless sessions for officers, BuzzFeed News reported.

The providers who work with the LAPD officers are not the same providers who oversee their “fitness for duty” examinations, according to BuzzFeed News.

As a result, officers tend to be more comfortable being open and honest with them, because they understand that what they disclose won’t have a bearing on their fitness examinations.

“With nine suicides, what you’re seeing is a system that’s broken,” Jablonski-Kaye said of the NYPD. “The police force there, a large part, must feel hopeless, that this is something that we can’t fix. And I think the agency, the NYPD, must feel hopeless as well.”

NYPD will send approximately 800 staff members to specialized training on stress, suicide, and mental health this month, with the goal of having at least one trained peer representative who officers in crisis can turn to in each district, Commissioner O’Neill told CNN.

“It’s extraordinarily painful,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the rash of officer suicides, according to the Associated Press. “We have lost officers in the past, but this concentration is devastating. We’re going to do everything conceivable to help officers and to stop this.”

President Donald Trump has also recently signed a bill that will provide up to $7.5 million annually for mental health training and suicide prevention for law enforcement officers.

“It is receiving much more visibility than ever,” Police Executive Research Forum Executive Director Chuck Wexler told the Associated Press. “The nature and extent of this issue is not well known, and the numbers we have are probably underreported.”

According to a 2018 study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, only three to five percent of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies have suicide prevention training programs, CNN reported.

At least 122 current or retired law enforcement officers have committed suicide in 2019, according to the Associated Press.

Comments (42)
No. 1-10
flybynight
flybynight

With a mayor like Debozo it just doesn't make any sense. /S 🙄

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Wow. Looks like "liberal initiatives" like California giving psych checkups to the LAPD free of charge is worth it. And to be honest, the LAPD isn't as terrible as a lot of the other big city departments. Not bad for cops.

bronx163
bronx163

Talk is cheap.

NYPD Is so fucked up, that post 9/11 attacks my pltoon commander after few days was breaking my balls for not writing summonses as we were sending Teams of cops every day every platoon down town to dig for trapped and recover our fallen. The job never asked untill 3 months after thale attack how we were feeling after spending the first 72 hours walking on body parts and looking for the missing and dead.

NYPD BRASS DOESN'T CARE ABOUT THE COP NEVER DID.

COP notifies the job hes burned out depressed, your job status is modified Gun and shield taken. You have tour changed to 4x12 midnights, labeled broken toy, kook, lazy, scammer. Then they drop you in the dungeons of central booking wear all prisoners are processed. Dirty nasty place.

Job wants to help the cop establish a command wear depressed stressed out cop does days gets weekends off and see’s councilors on the job time and is gradually brought back to regular duty status. But no they have dept surgeon at sick desk label u a nut and try to survey you off the job.

I blame the NYPD BRASS, and unions. They never have done enough for the stressed out cop.

Cops who work in the shit holes of the world like South Bronx, Brooklyn North, Brooklyn South, shit holes of queens, Wear the average cops answering 200 radio runs in a 18 days. Going 0-90 in a blink of an eye on shots fired, 10-13’s, counter terrorism, ied’s and suspicious package jobs, assaults in progress, looking at brain matter on walls, dead people, dead children, dealing rape vics best they can. Cop Fighting for their life with street savages and then get IAB ASKING WHY u lumped up some mope who was trying to kill you.

AND now we have Jimmy the Spineless Coward Oneil who stabs a cop in the back who was doing beat he could wrestling with a 350 lbs perp resisting arrest. Maybe if the job had given every cop a tazer 25 yrs ago, and not just 3 yrs ago. There wouldn't be a dead perp and a cop thrown under the bus by spineless piece of shit police commissioner.

NYPD BRASS is out of touch. They have lost all comprehension what its like for the street cop

joesmith1964
joesmith1964

A guilty conscience caused by working around totally corrupt cops in a totally corrupt system of institutionalized lies, theft, beatings and murder. I shed not a tear for a dead cop but consider it karmic payback justice for the thousands of innocents brutalized and murdered by the police

MikeP57
MikeP57

I pray for NYPD Brothers and Sisters This Stat is on that is the worst stat of all statistics. I am curious of the nine suicides were any of them related to IAB cases or Professional Misconduct issues ?

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

Simple Solution. FIRE the top 5 leadership position holders in the NYPD and replace them with REAL COPS and not Politician minded Suck ups. Then educate the citizens as to WHO is the real problem in that city. When Rudy was Mayor NYC became the safest city in the nations,,,when he left that degranded to what we see NOW.

Angry Curmdgeon
Angry Curmdgeon

So you have all these wonderful programs and "apps" in place to help the officer. That is wonderful. How do you get a seriously troubled officer to take advantage of these programs? It is up to each officer to watch his partner. I am of the opinion that no matter how much we do, there will always be those who are hell-bent on committing suicide. All we can do is pray that we are able to save as many as we possibly can.

investigator
investigator

My heart breaks for all their families....both blood and blue. It's sad how this POS governor and Mayor have let this City return to the days pre-Guiliani......just like California and Chicago. There isn't enough money to make me want to return to law enforcement today!

61mouse
61mouse

Get rid of the mayor and the so call police commissioner

TONYAPARNELL
TONYAPARNELL

WHEN DO WE SEE GITMO EXECUTE KILLERY ? ASK NYPD ABOUT THE ORIGINAL WEINER LAPTOP WHICH ONES THREW UP AND HAD TO HAVE THERAPY OVER IT. HOW CAN KILLERY AND ABEDIN RAPE A 10 YR OLD GIRL AND PEEL HER FACE OFF WHILE SHE WAS ALIVE? YOU CAN BET ALL OF CONGRESS KNEW ABOUT THIS AND NOT ONE OF THOSE BASTARDS DID ANYTHING ABOUT IT. I AM ANXIOUS TO SEE THE TRIBUNALS TO GET THE 80% OF THE DEM CONGRESS AND SOME REPS, JUDGES, MEDIA, LAWYERS, MOVIE STARS, COMMIES, SOCIALISTS, MUD SLIMES, SOROS AND THE REST. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS TO HAVE A MAN WITH BALLS ENOUGH TO PROSECUTE THESE EVIL SO CALLED HUMAN BEINGS