An off-duty cop who died in an apparent suicide Wednesday is reportedly the fourth NYPD officer to has taken his own life in the past three weeks.
Sources told the New York Daily News that Kevin Preiss, 53, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head at his Nassau County home. Preiss was reportedly a 24-year veteran of the force who left behind a wife and several children.
Priess is reportedly the fourth NYPD officer this month—and sixth this year—to have died by suicide.
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The Daily News reports that, on June 14, officer Michael Caddy fatally shot himself inside parked car located in Staten Island. On June 5, deputy chief Steven Silks, 62, reportedly fatally shot himself near Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, shortly after filing for retirement. A day later, NYPD detective Joseph Calabrese, 58, reportedly vanished and was found dead near Plum Beach in an apparent suicide.
The outlet noted that a retired NYPD officer, Donghai Hu, 51, also killed himself at his Queens home over the weekend.
Earlier this month, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill reportedly sent a letter to all 55,000 NYPD employees where he implored them to reach out if they’re experiencing mental health issues.
According to WNBC, he wrote, “Before you can take care of others, it’s imperative that you first take care of yourselves. Seeking help is never a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of great strength.”
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[Featured image: Kevin Preiss/KNBC video screengrab]