There is a very alarming new trend developing in the New York Police Department (NYPD).
This week, a 25-year veteran of the NYPD took his own life, becoming the ninth officer to do so this year.
Suddenly, the NYPD suicide rate is rivaling that of our brave military veterans. In fact, at one point, in the span of fewer than 10 days, three officers died by suicide.
Seven of the suicides have happened since June. Oddly enough, that happens to be about the same time we saw an uptick in officers assaults in the city.
Suicides have happened on the NYPD before, but never at this rate.
According to officials, the department usually has about four or five suicides per year.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
To say the force is rattled with this latest trend is a major understatement. Leadership in the force wants its officers to know if they need help, they can ask for it.
The NYPD has already put a plan in place for mental health training, which is expected to start later this month.
Perhaps most baffling is that the suicides are reportedly not happening in one department or even one age group in the force; veterans who have been on the force for decades, as well as officers with less than 10 years experience, have killed themselves this year.
Shockingly, a 2018 study found that police officers are more likely to die from suicide than they are to be killed while on duty.
Mental health professionals believe part of the problem is the stigma associated with asking for help, with some officers even worried about losing their jobs if others find out about their struggles with mental health.
In 2017, 140 police officers nationally died by suicide. Clearly, this is something that needs to be addressed not only in New York, but throughout the entire country.