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March 2, 2023

Burden of the badge: Staten Island cop takes own life, adding to disturbing suicide trend

By Dean Moses

A Staten Island police officer took his own life early Thursday morning, NYPD sources confirmed — continuing a disturbing trend of first responders dying by suicide.

According to police sources, a 22-year-old cop shot himself in the head inside his home at around 1:48 a.m. on March 2, within the confines of the 123rd Precinct. He was rushed to Staten Island University North where he was pronounced dead. A firearm was recovered at the scene.

Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Lynch mourned another loss in the department, citing stress of dealing with life and death situations daily as a major contributing factor while also insinuating a revolving door of recidivism also played a role.

“The loss of our brother is both heartbreaking and infuriating. New York City police officers are under incredible stress: not just the stress of the job, but stress from the Job,” Lynch said. “Our city and NYPD leaders already know what they need to change. The heartbreak won’t stop until they do.”

Several sources said that NYPD officers are indeed suffering, noting that three officers died by suicide in 2022, as did three more in 2021.

One Queens patrol officer, who did not want to be identified, speculated that the weight of the job can become too much to bear —  explaining to amNewYork Metro that over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, he went from being treated like a hero to a monster after George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.

“People went from shaking my hand and thanking me to yelling at me,” the officer remarked.

After the suicide of another NYPD officer in January, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell reminded those in her department that help is always available to them.”

“Today, we, as a Department, find ourselves heartbroken again with the tragic loss of one of our members,” the top cop’s tweet read. “You are never alone, help is always available. Law enforcement, text BLUE to 741741 (others, text TALK) to be connected to someone who can help 24/7.”

According to a source familiar with the situation, the 22-year-old officer who took his own life on March 2 was also involved in a police-involved shooting in Coney Island in November, during which the suspect fired multiple shots at officers. The gunman was ultimately shot and killed by police at the scene.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. These services are free and confidential.