Cop Suicide Crisis Gets Even Worse

The NYPD must be reeling after a third suicide this month
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2019 1:30 PM CDT
Cop Suicide Crisis Gets Even Worse
A detail including the badge and shield of one of the newest members of the New York City police is seen during his graduation ceremony, Thursday, June 29, 2017, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Hard to believe, but a third NYPD officer has committed suicide in less than 10 days. Officer Michael Caddy shot himself in a car near the 121st Precinct stationhouse on Staten Island at about 3:45pm on Friday, leaving behind a wife and child, the New York Daily News reports. The 29-year-old was in the midst of a divorce that his lawyer, Brian Perskin, describes as "non-eventful"—but Perskin adds that "he was getting divorced, so he wasn’t happy. He was pretty stressed out. But this is totally unexpected. I feel bad for the wife, and especially his father, who he was very close to." A neighbor says Caddy, who worked domestic violence cases, seemed "normal" and "calm" when the day started: "I can't believe this happened," adds the neighbor.

Caddy's death was yet another shock for a police force that lost a deputy chief and a homicide detective to suicide earlier this month. "This is a mental-health crisis," tweeted New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill. "And we—the NYPD and the law enforcement profession as a whole—absolutely must take action. This cannot be allowed to continue. Cops spend so much of their days assisting others. But before we can help the people we serve, it is imperative that we first help ourselves." Mayor Bill de Blasio also reminded officers that support is available: "You are not alone," he said, per CNN. "Help is here. Reach out." A 2018 study found that firefighters and police officers more often die by suicide than on the job. (Officers in France and Chicago are facing a similar epidemic.)

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