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2 NYPD Officers Die of Apparent Suicides 1 Day Apart

Two New York Police Department officers have died one day apart after apparent self-inflected gunshot wounds.

Deputy Chief Steven Silks died Wednesday near the police department where he worked, reported The New York Times. Police said it was the result of a self-inflicted wound.

NYPD police officers
Police are lit by flashing lights as they stand in formation while the casket of slain New York City Police (NYPD) officer Randolph Holder is carried from the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York following his funeral service in the Queens borough of N.Y.C., on Oct. 28, 2015. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Silks, 62, was a month away from retirement. He had been in the police department for 38 years, police Sgt. Lee Jones said, according to Fox News.

“His entire career was devoted to New York City, its police officers and fighting crime and protecting all the people we serve. He wanted to make our great city a better place for all and he certainly did exactly that, every day,” Commissioner James O’Neill said.

Police Commissioner James ONeil
New York City Police Commissioner James ONeil, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo attend a news conference outside the Time Warner Building, on Oct. 24, 2018. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

A second officer, Joe Calabrese, 58, died Thursday. He was an NYPD Brooklyn South homicide detective, chairman for the Detectives’ Endowment Association (DEA) Board of Trustees and a union trustee.

Calabrese didn’t show up for work Thursday and was found when officers went to search for him, Fox News reported. He had been with the department for 37 years.

“I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,” said Michael Palladino, president of the DEA, told the New York Post. “Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth.”

Police officer suicides have by some estimates exceeded all line-of-duty deaths combined for three years in a row, according to preliminary data from Blue H.E.L.P., a non-profit organization run by current and retired officers. Officer suicides beat out line-of-duty deaths by 9% in 2018.

There were 159 police officer suicides nationwide in 2018, according to Blue H.E.L.P. There have been 48 NYPD officer suicides over the past 10 years, The NYT reported.

“We can’t hide from this discussion,” O’Neill said. “We should not and we will not.”

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

By Shelby Talcott

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