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16 August 2019 - 10:56
News ID: 446627
A veteran police officer with the New York Police Department (NYPD) killed himself on Wednesday, becoming the ninth police officer to die by suicide this year, amid what officials have declared a "mental health crisis."

RNA - The officer with over 25 years of service shot himself in the head at his home in the Queens borough of New York just after 6 pm, the NYPD said on Thursday.

He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name was not immediately released.

The tragedy comes just one day after another off-duty police officer fatally shot himself at his home in Yonkers, an inner suburb of New York City.

"To anyone who may be struggling, know that there is support available," the NYPD said in a Twitter post that announced the latest officer suicide.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill has declared a mental health crisis in the department amid the recent spate of officer suicides.

He has sent messages reminding officers of available resources and urging them to seek help.

The NYPD has averaged about four or five suicides each year over the past five years, O'Neill said in June.

The deaths are part of a disturbing trend across the US. In 2018, at least 167 officers died by suicide, according to the nonprofit group Blue Help.

According to one study, law enforcement officers are 30 percent more likely to kill themselves than the general public.

In a survey conducted last year by NBC New York, 78 percent of police officers across the US reported experiencing critical stress on the job, with 16 percent saying the stress triggers thoughts of suicide.

A 2018 study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization, found policemen and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.


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