NYPD Commissioner: Department To Rethink Suicide Prevention Procedures

NYPD officer
Photo credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A recent rise in suicides by NYPD police officers has the department reconsidering its suicide prevention procedures.

Four NYPD officers, including a veteran detective and deputy chief, died from apparent suicides over the course of a month and Police Commissioner James O’Neill seemed visibly upset by the news.

“It's difficult to think about, I mean, to have four members of the service take their own life within less than a month is, you know, in May, we wouldn't think that was possible, but, it happened and we have to deal with it,” he said Friday.

He says it's time for a look at the NYPD’s internal policies.

The commissioner says they will be reviewing “how we return people to duty, how we take them off of full-duty, to make sure that we're doing it the way it should be done.”

“We have to make sure that we keep people safe, we keep the individuals safe, but people take this job because they want to do good and they want to make a difference and they want to help other people,” O’Neill said. “Sometimes we're the worst at taking care of ourselves.”

He promised new recommendations and programs to “make sure this never happens again.”

In wake of the recent tragedies, the NYPD has listed the following resources for officers in need of help.
  • Employee Assistance Unit: 646-610-6730
  • Chaplains Unit: 212-473-2363
  • POPPA (independent from the NYPD): 888-267-7267
  • NYC WELL: Text, call, & chat www.nyc.gov/nycwell
  • Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Law enforcement officers can text BLUE to 741741 (non-law enforcement can text TALK to 741741)
  • Call 911 for emergencies