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Top News

Four NYPD Suicides In Four Weeks

February 14, 2012  | 

Photo: Paul Clinton
Photo: Paul Clinton

A veteran New York City police officer fatally shot himself Monday, becoming the fourth NYPD officer to commit suicide in as many weeks, reports The New York Post.

Matthew Schindler, 39, finished his shift in Queens, N.Y., and then shot himself under the chin off of the Long Island Expressway in Jericho around 4:30 p.m., sources told The Post. The married father of three had texted his sergeant minutes before to tell him goodbye.

The three other officers include Brian Saar, a 20-year veteran who shot himself at his Suffolk County home; Terrence Dean, 28, of the 111th Precinct in Queens; and rookie cop Patrick Werner, 23, who shot himself in his parents' home in suburban Yorktown Heights after getting into an car accident and fleeing.


Comments (24)

Displaying 1 - 24 of 24

AusFost1 @ 2/14/2012 9:26 PM

Just so sorry. Nothing is ever that bad, please reach out to someone - your families will never understand if you don't. RIP.

NPDBob @ 2/15/2012 3:58 AM

When all seems lost and there there are no lights at the end of the tunnel, remember that all events in life change - always. Choosing a permanent solution to a temporary problem is never a valid response.

Joese @ 2/15/2012 6:04 AM

Is no way out of Corruption.

Bob T.retired @ 2/15/2012 12:18 PM

To any Officer that reads this and I speak from experience, hear me, I contemplated suicide. I thought of my family and friends and the devastation it would cause. I sang the song Tomorrow from the Broadway musical Annie, each time I tried to attempt it. I was afraid if someone knew I would lose my job because of mental problems. I finally reached out to the VA as a vet and was hospitalized for depression and found out I had bipolar disorder. I got meds and did enough time to vest and move south to a slower pace. I worked as a deputy until new policy put me on administrative leave. I was forced to file for disability which I received. I have since enjoyed my kids growing up and a divorce, but I am still alive and each day I treasure more then the other. Get help, I know it seems hopeless, but...TOMORROW, TOMORROW, ITS ONLY A DAY AWAY. 24 LITTLE HOURS, WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES, AND DONT FORGET YOUR LOVED ONES. THEY DONT WANT THAT 1/2 MILLION INSURANCE POLICY YOU HAVE, THE FAMILY WANTS YOU AND THEY WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT YOU. PUT THE GUN DOWN, UNLOAD IT AND THINK THINK THINK.

Donn @ 2/15/2012 2:25 PM

Suicide is the monster that we can't see, the evil that doesn't appear in our photo line-ups, the villian that we can't grasp hold of, the ethereal enemy that doesn't reveal itself to us until too late ... yet it leaves us as dead as the resistive armed felon and oftentimes with more unanswered questions. Suicide is rarely if ever considered a line-of-duty death, and we as a profession believe that we are above such demons. All too frequently we are wrong, and the pressures of law enforcement have pulled the trigger just as assuredly as the cop-killer criminal.

Unk @ 2/15/2012 3:08 PM

Thank You Bob T. You saved someone.

Scott @ 2/15/2012 4:23 PM

Cudos Bob T. You are a better person for what you did, like the previous poster, "You saved someone."

chp7016 @ 2/16/2012 12:16 AM

There IS a way around this. We call them “annual mental health checks,” at least once a year—voluntary, to keep up with the stresses and traumas of this caustic career. You can’t go 10, 20 years or more without doing it. It’s no different than having a good batting coach, or getting a physical, especially in this job. If you don’t trust your department or EAP, go outside and pay the co-pay yourself—you can afford it. It’s your family, your life and your career. Don’t wait until “you need help” to get it—get the help BEFORE you need it so you’ll be ready for the crap when it hits.

popo @ 2/16/2012 11:24 AM

We will always have the enemy within, as well as our external foes. To any fellow officers going down this path, reach out... people do care... depression is no different than high blood pressure, it's one of the side effects of dealing with what we do, day after day. Innoculate yourself with a good mental health plan, find a good set of non-judgmental ears to share the pain, but most of all, put down the gun until you remember we can't afford any gaps in our thin blue line. Be safe.

Kim @ 2/16/2012 8:13 PM

My condolences to the families of these fine men. RIP

Jim @ 2/17/2012 6:53 AM

Suicide is not painless for your familiy and friends. It is the most selfish act a person could ever do. We need to keep in mind though, that these people were having extreme mental issues at the time they took their own lives. They were not seeing straight. They were literally at the end of their ropes. And when the rope went taught, it was their family, friends, and fellow officers that felt the snap. I am sorry for them.

You be strong within yourself. If you need strength from the outside, be willing to seek it.

Jim A

Det. Sgt. and Chaplain M. @ 2/17/2012 7:37 AM

Suicide is the #1 killer of our fellow LEOs...we lose an average of 1 a day and police suicide is often intentionally unreported or misreported. Bottom line though is that God has a plan for your life and it does not include suicide. I have resources on my website to assist in this area: see www.TheCenturionLawEnforcementMinistry.org and scroll down the left side. Moreover, the best defense to this and related issues in our God-ordained profession (Romans 13:1-5) is to be in a right relationship with Him through Christ.

This coming from someone who knows what the business end of a Glock tastes like.

Mike @ 10/26/2015 6:21 PM

Jim, I am sure you mean well and I agree with most of your comments. The part about the most selfish thing a person can do bothers me. Just a suggestion and I don't mean this to be condescending at all. Please get some more education by reading a book, taking a class or talking to a true professional in this field. The selfish part is only sometimes true. Until you can wrap your head around the soul crushing depths of clinical depression in some people when they actually believe that they are doing everyone close to them a favor with suicide then I don't believe a person can truly understand. I am still learning but I know enough to know that the selfishness thing is only sometimes true.

Dianne Torres @ 10/26/2015 6:46 PM

So very sad that they see no way out but taking their lives..talk ..talk to friends, fellow workers..just always talk it out..prayers for their families

Chaplain Virginia Howell @ 10/26/2015 7:48 PM

This saddens me. I ride on patrol 2x a week with my guys and gals so we can talk out thier problems safely and confidentially. I have resources for referrals (outside the department ) of trauma therapists. Our organizations need to do better when it comes to preserving the mental health of our most important assets - our people. Prayers sent for all these families.

Martin Kraft @ 10/26/2015 9:51 PM

Permanent Solution for temporary problem.....Don't go there, call someone, Nothing is worth leaving this life by the way of suicide, NOTHING

julianna defante @ 10/26/2015 10:24 PM

would like to say God rest your souls and my heart goes out to their families. I Would like to say that I come from a police family and yes we should all be aware that the devil never sleeps and it comes to you when you least expect. We all take an oath when we become police officers and that is protect and serve but even though we all must believe God is protecting us we should all know we can have a support group to go to and also the public should support us as well
......

Brian Snyder @ 10/27/2015 4:42 AM

Law enforcement officer are conditioned to be the solution to not only their own personal issues but also everyone else's and then not talk about it. Just move onto the next call. Be strong. Focus . Stay in caution mode mentally at all times because your one call away from red. Law enforcement needs more time off or paid physical days to condition themseves. I found the job was just as hard on my family as it was on me and they didn't know most of what I got involved in or experienced. The agency drama is also a great part of the stress. I understand. I'm just lucky I found a way to deal with it.

Tom tom @ 10/27/2015 7:29 AM

The nypd is the NO1 violator of labor laws and one of the most retaliatory agencies ever. No surprise here with these stats

Jen @ 10/27/2015 10:45 AM

NYPD should look into this program saveawarrior.org
This is for Veterans and first responders.

Chuck Reiss @ 10/27/2015 11:39 AM

I worked in the Crime Scene Unit for 11 years. In that time POPPA came out once after Mike Pigott committed suicide because of the job. I had just finished my investigation of a MOS suicide in Queens. I handed too many MOS suicides there is reletively no mental health being provided for MOS on or off the job. It's a travesty. I think in the past there was more comradery and fellowship even with the supervisors. It's not even like they recognize it and say suck it up. It's just that Cops are meaningless.

BILL FROGUE @ 10/27/2015 3:51 PM

NOT ALL OF THE BROTHERS DO IT WITH A GUN.SOME BROTHERS DO IT VERY SLOWLY WITH ALCOHOL.I ALMOST DID BUT I GUESS IM TO STUBBORN TO LET IT GO ON.BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ALCOHOL IS NOT YOUR FRIEND IF YOU ABUSE IT. IVE LOST A LOT OF FRIENDS TO THE BOOZ. BUDDIES I DIDNT EVEN KNOW WERE STONED ALCOHOLICS.IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS ON THE JOB AND CANT COPE. TAKE TIME OFF AND GO SEE A COUNSILOR.BELEIVE ME IT HELPS.NO ONE WANTS TO SEE ANOTHER BROTHER IN A BOX

valerie jones @ 10/27/2015 6:37 PM

This is horrible It is a tough job already. Now they have to feel like targets for the sick morons that are jumping out of dark alleys.

P. Jacobs @ 10/29/2015 6:31 PM

One of the many problems with police and military is that mental health issues are still seen as signs of weakness so that those who need help the most are reluctant to seek it. What a shame.

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