[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).]
NEW YORK, (FOX).– A New York City police sergeant killed himself at his home Tuesday night – marking the 10th NYPD officer to die by suicide this year.
The unidentified 35-year-old cop died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to WABC-TV. The officer was pronounced dead at a hospital at 10 p.m.
Further information was not immediately clear, but the death is part of what Police Commissioner James O’Neill has described as a “mental health crisis.”
In June, the top cop of the nation’s largest police force said police officers killing themselves “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,” he said, urging those who might need help to seek mental health assistance.
O’Neill added: “Accepting help is never a sign of weakness – in fact, it’s a sign of great strength.”
Last month, city council members introduced a bill that would require the NYPD to “contract a specific number of licensed clinicians to provide mental health support and awareness to all New York City police officers.”
The sergeant’s suicide Tuesday was the 10th for the department this year and the eighth since June. According to Blue H.E.L.P., a nonprofit organization that tracks law enforcement suicides, at least 169 police officers – 24 of whom were retired cops – have killed themselves in 2019 alone.