Police officer kills himself, 9th NYPD suicide this year

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HAMPTON BAYS, NY – FEBRUARY 20: An NYPD officer arrives for the funeral service of fallen NYPD Detective Brian Simonsen at the Church of St. Rosalie, February 20, 2019 in Hampton Bays, New York. Thousands of area police officers and law enforcement personnel attended the funeral. Simonsen was killed by friendly fire while responding with fellow NYPD officers to a robbery at a store in Queens last week. Simonsen is survived by his wife and mother and will be interned at Jamesport Cemetery in nearby Riverhead, New York. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — An off-duty veteran New York city police officer killed himself on Wednesday, becoming the ninth police officer to die by suicide this year, authorities said.

The officer with over 25 years of service shot himself in the head at his Laurelton home in Queens just after 6 p.m., officials said. He was rushed to a hospital in Manhasset where he was pronounced dead. His name was not immediately released.

The tragedy comes just one day after another off-duty police officer fatally shot himself at his home in Yonkers.

“To anyone who may be struggling, know that there is support available,” the department said in a Twitter post that announced the latest officer suicide.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill has declared a mental health crisis in the department amid the recent spate of officer suicides. He has sent messages reminding officers of available resources and urging them to seek help.

Police officers have a higher suicide rate than the general public experts say, in part because of their ready access to firearms.

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