Another NYPD suicide; top brass pleads with cops to seek help

The death of Sgt. Terrance McAvoy marked the seventh NYPD officer suicide so far this year


By Kyle Lawson
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Hours after an off-duty NYPD officer was found with what sources called a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside his New Dorp home, NYPD top brass issued a lifeline to officers suffering from depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

The death of Sgt. Terrance McAvoy marked the seventh police officer suicide so far this year. The 30-year-old transit cop was stationed out of Brooklyn.

“To every member of the NYPD, please know this: it is okay to feel vulnerable. It is okay if you are facing struggles. And it is okay to seek help from others,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill in a statement.

“More people than you know, who wear the same uniform as you do, share the same doubts and fears and struggles that you do. Seeking help is strength. Talking about your problems is strength. Acknowledging you need a place to turn is strength...”

NYPD Chief Terence Monahan took to Twitter with phone numbers and websites for officers in crisis.

McAvoy, 30, was found in serious condition at about 4 p.m. by emergency responders, who performed CPR on site but were unable to resuscitate him, according to an FDNY spokesman.

A tweet late Saturday night by NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan listed several options for help when an officer is dealing with suicidal thoughts as a result of stress, anxiety, financial issues, family issues and drug addiction.

“The NYPD mourns the loss of one of New York’s finest who died by suicide today," wrote Monahan. "We must continue to stand together, look out for one another and support our fellow cops during this tragedy. Help is always available—within the department or on the outside. You’re never alone. #StopSuicide

Mayor de Blasio expressed the same sentiment in a statement to the public.

“I want to say as loudly and clearly as I can: it is okay to ask for help. If you or a loved one is in need: ask. Your whole city stands in support of you ready to answer the call.”

Richmond County District Attorney Michael E. McMahon also took to Twitter, saying “all of Staten Island is grieving with the family and loved ones of Sgt. Terrance McAvoy.”

If a family member, friend or co-worker exhibits warning signs of suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention advises the person not be left alone, and to call a prevention hotline, take them to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.

More information on suicide prevention is available American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website.

©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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