In the wake of the 9th New York Police Department (NYPD) officer to die by suicide this year, Legislator C. William Gaylor III and the Nassau County Legislative Majority joined with members of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association (PBA), Detectives Association (DAI), and Sheriff's Corrections Officers Benevolent Association (COBA) to announce a bill that will give officers greater access to mental health resources.
The legislation, which will be heard at the next meeting of the Legislature, includes:
- The creation, within the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) and Department of Corrections, of an Office of Mental Health and Wellness
- The creation of a liaison between the NYPD and NCPD to better serve NYPD officers residing in Nassau County.
- The establishment of a mental health action plan, to be evaluated by the Nassau County Police Department/ Department of Corrections annually, to examine the mental health policy and procedures and provide the opportunity for added resources to the Departments.
- The creation of a smartphone application with various mental health resources
- The formation of peer support groups for Police and Corrections Officers
- The provision of in-service wellness training and resources for all Nassau County Police and Corrections Officers for a minimum of one-hour per calendar year.
“The recent suicides of NYPD police officers are tragic and shine a light on the stress and chaos they deal with every day,” Legislator Gaylor said. “Self-care and mental help can go a long way in stopping this trend. These brave men and woman put their lives on the line for our residents. We owe them our thanks, and our help. We understand that it isn’t always calm and peaceful in their line of work, but we are thankful that they have taken on this task to bring order to our County.”
Police and Corrections officers deal with immense stress, and often chaotic work conditions while keeping our communities safe. While Nassau County has not seen in an increase of officers who die by suicide, the measures included in the bill will serve as an added resource for anyone needing assistance.