An NYPD officer was found dead Wednesday at his home in Long Island with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The officer, Kevin Preiss, was married with children and was just 3 days shy of his 25th anniversary with NYPD, the New York Post reported.
Preiss’s death marked the fourth apparent suicide for members of the NYPD this month. Officer Michael Caddy, Detective Joe Calabrese, and Deputy Chief Steven Silks were found dead on June 14, June 5 and June 4, respectively, and all ruled victims of suicide. (RELATED: 2 NYPD Officers Die Of Apparent Suicides 1 Day Apart)
Commissioner James O’Neill issued a statement on Twitter after Caddy’s death encouraging officers to seek help for mental health and self-harm issues.
This is a mental-health crisis. And the NYPD & the law enforcement profession as a whole absolutely must take action. We must take care of each other; we must address this issue — now. Please take my statement below to heart & help yourself, your loved ones, & your colleagues. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/urHuzIiiFb
— Commissioner O’Neill (@NYPDONeill) June 15, 2019
“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. There is no shame in seeking assistance from the many resources available, both inside and outside the department,” O’Neill states. (RELATED: Police Suicides Are Up, Retired Cop Says ‘Ferguson Effect’ Is Partly To Blame)
Suicide takes more lives from New York City police than the line of duty, according to The New York Times.
“Officers are very hesitant to ask for help,” John Violanti, a former New York State trooper, told the Times. “The culture sort of mandates that you don’t have problems, that you’re a RoboCop and you’re not affected by emotion. And we all know that’s not possible if you’re human.”
Along with calling it a “mental health crisis,” O’Neill offered resources for those in need of help in his statement.