Prosecutors: Maywood police officer dies by suicide at Hackensack University hospital

The Bergen County prosecutor says that the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. News 12 New Jersey is withholding the sergeant’s name out of respect for the family.

Matt Trapani and Samantha Liebman

Mar 30, 2023, 5:34 PM

Updated 471 days ago

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A 39-year-old Maywood police sergeant died by suicide early Thursday morning, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
It is a situation that some experts say is part of a greater issue in the law enforcement community.
The sergeant died at Hackensack University Medical Center. The Bergen County prosecutor says that it happened around 2:30 a.m. News 12 New Jersey is withholding the sergeant’s name out of respect for the family.
Studies show that law enforcement suicides are higher than in the general population.
A 2021 study by the Ruderman Family Foundation showed that in 2020, only COVID-19 deaths exceeded law enforcement suicides. There were 161 suicides that year, according to the study. The organization First Help, founded by retired Florida officer Steven Hough, also tracks police suicides in the United States in an effort to provide support and awareness. They found 159 law enforcement suicides last year. Hough says while more departments are providing help and support to their officers, there is still a stigma.
"When we first started doing this, we heard about these guys and these girls wanting to get help, but they were afraid they were going to lose their job,” Hough says. “That still holds true today. So there is that piece of it attached. Of course, when they talk about losing their profession, that's losing your identity."
The Ruderman research noted federal legislation in 2017 made more grant money available for peer mentoring for police departments but concluded that suicide rates remain steady in the community and that as of 2021 there were still not enough resources or national programs that are law-enforcement specific.
When it comes to suicide prevention in general, there is a new national hotline. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988.


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