GOSHEN, N.Y. – Police in the town of Goshen, New York are sad to report the death of retired NYPD sergeant Jose “Joey” Pabon after they discovered he had taken his own life on Wednesday.

The New York Post reported that Pabon has become the latest member of the NYPD to commit suicide this year, bringing the number to a staggering 11 LEO’s lost to their own hand.

What usually amounts to an average of four or five officers killed by suicide each year has more than doubled… and the year is far from over.

Jose “Joey” Pabon was found dead in his New York state home on Wednesday morning. (Facebook)

 

The iconic city department has been blindsided by a massive increase of officers, both active duty and retired, who have taken their own lives since the beginning of the year. In 2019, nine active duty officers from the NYPD have committed suicide, along with two retired LEO’s.

Goshen Police say they were called to the scene of Pabon’s upstate New York home in Orange County on Wednesday just after midnight. Emergency crews found Pabon’s lifeless body with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 

Authorities say that Pabon had worked for the Interval Affairs Bureau of the NYPD and had retired from the job about four years ago. 

 

Police say that his wife discovered the body, and that the retired sergeant did not leave a suicide note. 

Pabon reportedly signed on with the New York City force back in 1993, serving for approximately 12 years. He was just 49-years-old at the time of his death, sources said.

The string of suicides has forced New York City agency heads into full panic mode, stressing the importance of visiting mental health professionals or speaking with police chaplains or the different resources the department is trying to provide for those who are hurting.

Another retired sergeant from the NYPD took his life just over a week ago, on September 3.

A report from the Post said that the sergeant had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head while sitting inside of his vehicle in a transit parking lot on Arthur Kill Road near Richmond Avenue.

An unnamed retired police sergeant becomes the 10th NYPD officer to take his own life this year. (Flickr)

 

Another officer was taken too early just a few weeks prior. Robert Echeverria was off-duty when he shot himself in the head on August 14.  Police got a call from Echeverria’s wife, who found her husband unresponsive on the ground with a gun nearby on his bed.

He was rushed to North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Echeverria had served in the NYPD for 25 years and was a part of the elite Strategic Response Group, a team of law enforcement officials that are assigned to mass shootings, large protests and similar events.

He was the ninth NYPD officer to die by suicide in 2019, and the second within a week.  He took his own life just one day after 35-year-old city offer Johnny Rios fatally shot himself at his home in Yonkers. At the time of his death, Rios was temporarily assigned to detail surrounding Yankee Stadium.

 

Reports circulating that outside mental health staff will be brought into every police facility. The hope is to have a watchful eye present and to have a door open for officers to walk into.

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For officers who still fear opening up to department services and or staff, know that there are protections for you. If you’re still conflicted, don’t go it alone, outside sources are another avenue to explore.

By stepping outside of the traditional programs, officers that fear they’ll jeopardize their career can seek help anonymously early on. Services like those provided by Lemonaid Health allow for officers to receive assistance via an app-based system that also allows for a slew of other health services.

This option does provide the protections through HIPPA same as going through your own insurance. Check them out at http://lemonaid.com or download their app in the Google or Apple store.

Officer Robert Echeverria

Officer Robert Echeverria (Provided)

 

The high volume of suicides is leading some 800 executive NYPD staff to begin training with mental health experts to combat the uptick in suicides, according to Commissioner O’Neill.

He said goal is to eventually retrain the entire department.

We need to start having more conversations about Post Traumatic Stress… and we need to start having them at the federal level to protect our officers.

 

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