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.
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.
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.”
“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.” – @NYPDONeill remembering Chief Steven Silks pic.twitter.com/10KHyrUrIT
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 6, 2019
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.
Deputy Chief Steve Silks was a friend & a great cop dedicated to service for 38 years. As we mourn his tragic loss, know YOU’RE NEVER ALONE — no matter your rank or time on the job. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Share this video to provide options for assistance. #StopSuicide pic.twitter.com/yXeSWLVxQ5
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) June 6, 2019
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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