[Editor’s note: This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).]
An off-duty New York City police officer was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Tuesday, becoming the eighth city cop to die by suicide this year, officials said.
The Yonkers Police Department said in a news release that officials responded to a home on Shoreview Drive at around 3 a.m. for a report of a suicide. Officers found the off-duty cop unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Yonkers Police said that a preliminary investigation has shown no indications of foul play, and the manner of death “appears self-inflicted in an apparent suicide.”
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The NYPD said on Twitter the department “suffered another tragedy” on Tuesday with “the loss of another officer to suicide.”
“To those who may be facing struggles — Help is always available, you are not alone,” the department said.
The 35-year-old officer, who has not been identified, had been on the job for seven years, worked in the Bronx, and left behind a note, the New York Post reported.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told WYNC the death was the eighth suicide within the department this year.
“That is a very large number,” Monahan said. “We want to let our cops know that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s really devastating to see that it continues [including] last night.”
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Four officers died by suicide in June, prompting New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill to describe the situation as a “mental health crisis,” and said that law enforcement as a whole “must take action.”
In the wake of the deaths, O’Neill sent a note reminding the more than 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilians in the NYPD that help is available if they’re feeling depressed, hopeless or otherwise contemplating self-harm.
“This is about keeping our family healthy — and about saving lives,” O’Neill wrote. “Your jobs require that you spend so much of your work day helping people in crisis. But, before you can take care of others, it’s imperative that you first take care of yourselves.”
The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York reacted to the latest suicide on Twitter, saying, “Suicides: Don’t do it.”
“It solves nothing, and you are leaving devastation behind you. Your fellow cops are under siege,” the group said. “The Job created this monster — it won’t get better unless we stick together.”
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The suicides come amid a rising nationwide trend: More than 47,000 suicides were reported in the U.S. in 2017, or 14 per 100,000 people — the highest rate in at least half a century.
According to Blue H.E.L.P., a non-profit organization that tracks law enforcement suicides, at least 120 police officers have killed themselves in 2019 across the U.S. Over the course of the last decade, 48 NYPD officers have died of suicide, The New York Times reported.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and the Associated Press contributed to this report.