An off-duty New York City police sergeant has died by suicide, the 10th such death of an NYPD officer this year.
The 35-year-old police sergeant was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Queens on Tuesday night. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, WABC-TV reported.
A New York City Police Department spokesperson identified the officer to HuffPost as a member of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, which is a police sergeants union. The SBA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill confirmed the death on Twitter on Wednesday while urging his officers “to take care of yourself and regularly check up on your colleagues and loved ones.”
O’Neill declared a mental health crisis in June after four officers died by suicide that month, bringing the total deaths for the year at that point to seven. The NYPD has said it will typically see four or five suicides within its force in a year.
The NYPD and the Department of Investigation’s Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD have since announced they will work to reduce the stigma among officers that’s associated with seeking mental help as well as implement programs and training on officer wellness and safety, including suicide intervention.
“Simply put, the stress of the job when coupled with the personal stresses known to every human being, weigh heavily and continuously on the minds of our officers,” the NYPD said in a letter to city officials last month. “For reasons which remain unknown, that weight has brought about a significant increase in the number of NYPD officers taking their own lives this year.”
Law enforcement officers in crisis can text BLUE to 741741 for help.
If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources.