Chicago police suicides are 60 percent higher than other departments across the U.S #PrivateOfficerNews

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Chicago IL Feb 1 2017 Buried among the facts and figures in the Justice Department’s recent book-length report on the failings of the Chicago Police Department was a telling statistic: The rate of suicide among CPD officers is 60 percent higher than other departments across the U.S.

Among the ranks of the nearly 10,000 patrol officers of the CPD, an average of three officers will take their own lives each year, according to life insurance claims information from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the union representing the bulk of the department’s sworn officers.

In the past decade, 13 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Nearly twice as many officers died by their own hand during the same span.

Ron Rufo was a peer support counselor for most of his 21 years as a patrolman in the 9th District, volunteering to talk to his fellow officers at any scene where an officer was killed or injured. Rufo, who retired a little more than a year ago, estimates the number of his former peers who kill themselves each year could be double the FOP figure.

“There is a problem, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Rufo said. “Supervisors don’t talk about it. The rank-and-file don’t talk about it. And it’s like the administration does not want to admit it’s a problem.”

Police officers in Chicago have a uniquely difficult job, even among their big-city peers, said Alexa James, a psychologist who served on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Police Accountability Task Force. The expert panel last spring also released a scathing report on the CPD, but James said the authors were aware that individual officers need more support.

“When you have 760 homicides in the city in a year, that’s a war zone — and that’s where [police] are working every day,” said James, who noted the total number of murders in Chicago last year was larger than the tally in Los Angeles and New York, combined.

“It is a hard, hard job, and police officers get very little support,” she said.

The CPD’s Employee Assistance Program, which provides mental health services to 13,500 police officers and staff, has only three full-time counselors. The Los Angeles PD, the next-largest department in the U.S., has a staff of 11 clinicians for less than 10,000 sworn officers.

The small number of counselors leads to a “triage” approach to counseling services, the DOJ report states, with those three staffers offering about 7,500 consultations in 2015 alone. The combination of a potential backlog for appointments and the typical cop’s reluctance to seek help for mental issues hasn’t made EAP popular.

“You can go there whenever you want and make appointments,” said a veteran officer in a West Side district. “I believe there’s only two therapists there, so what’s their availability?”

“Do people do it? I don’t know. If they do, they don’t talk about it. I’ve never, in 14 years on the job, ever heard more than one or two guys talk about going to EAP.”

Police officers in Illinois might be more reluctant to seek mental health treatment than their peers in other states because of a pervasive fear that seeking help could cost them their badge, said Marla Friedman, a suburban psychologist who specializes in treating law enforcement officers.

Illinois is one of a handful of states that permanently prohibits anyone who has been involuntarily committed to in-patient mental health treatment from getting a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. A permit to carry a gun is a job requirement for police officers, and many officers believe — wrongly — that they could lose their FOID card just for seeing a therapist, going on psychiatric medication or getting outpatient treatment, Friedman said.

“This is a real problem,” Friedman said. “Police officers are the only class of citizen in the U.S. who is going to lose their job for seeking mental health care.”

Friedman has lobbied for legislation to carve out an exemption to the FOID laws that would allow police to have their license to carry a weapon reinstated, even if they’d spent time in in-patient treatment.

She realizes there is significant resistance to changing laws to make it easier for anyone to own a gun after receiving serious psychiatric treatment, especially for police officers during a period when new video of police misconduct seems to surface every few months.

“But that’s the Catch-22,” Friedman said. Police “are afraid if they go to counseling, they’ll lose their job forever. But if they hold it in, they can stay on the job. And then they snap. Which [scenario] is safer?”

And for those not sympathetic to the emotional needs of police officers, officer suicides could be a bellwether for the kind of stress that leads to conduct by police that strains relations with the public, from a lack of empathy to large and small instances of brutality, James said.

James said creating a “culture of care” within the CPD, where supervisors are on watch for signs of depression or trauma — sudden drops in productivity, an increase in citizen complaints — would go a long way toward reducing police misconduct.

“We want police to be out there with the clearest head, we want people with a strong constitution,” she said. “Then, they can be thinking clearly in a job where they make quick decisions.”

A culture of care doesn’t exist in CPD, FOP President Dean Angelo said. Union leaders urged CPD brass to create a program to allow officers to take time off or an administrative assignment when they were feeling stressed or after a traumatic experience, Angelo said. The suggestion apparently morphed into the department’s new policy of putting officers involved in shootings on desk duty for a mandatory 30 days, a move Angelo said seems punitive to officers.

“We wanted an ‘administrative timeout,’ where you could go to your supervisor and say, ‘Hey, I need some time,’ and there would be a guarantee you could stay in your assignment and wouldn’t be ostracized,” Angelo said. “Guys need that guarantee, or they’re not going to talk.”

Officers need support to deal with trauma, not just when they’ve been involved in a shooting.

“We don’t put a notch on our gun when we shoot someone. It’s traumatic for the officer, but not everyone needs 30 days to deal with it,” Angelo said. “What about the guy that went to a domestic and saw a baby covered in roaches? Or who just buried his own kid.

“It’s a crazy-ass job,” he said. “You’re dealing with the crazy. You can’t be crazy.”

Chicago Sun Times

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Young County Sheriff deputy kills son, commits suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

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GRAHAM, Texas Feb 1 2017— Officials determined a North Texas sheriff deputy shot and killed his son before taking his own life.

Investigators found 61-year-old Joseph Parker and his son, 27-year-old Kensy, each having an apparent single gunshot wound.

Graham Police officers were called to the 1300 block of Cherry Street after a family friend discovered their bodies in one of the bedrooms.

When officers arrived at the scene, the residence was secure and showed no sign of forced entry or struggle, according to police.

Joseph was last seen Tuesday at about 4:30 p.m. when he left work early. Police say the last time he appeared to have contact with anyone outside the home was around 9 p.m. that night by text.

No note was found in the home, officials said.

“This has been a difficult investigation for all the departments in our area,” Police Chief Tony Widner said.

Joseph Parker was a former Graham Police Officer who retired after 20 years of service. He was a firefighter and an arson investigator for the Graham Fire Department. He worked as a deputy sheriff for the Young County Sheriff Department.

“We will probably never know the reasoning as to why this happened, and while we do not condone his actions, we remember his service to the community and our hearts go out to the family,” Chief Widner.


NYPD officer shot and killed himself in his Staten Island home #PrivateOfficerNews

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Staten Island NY Jan 31 2017 A 33-year-old NYPD officer shot and killed himself in his Staten Island home Monday, cops said.

The body of Ralph Conde, was found in his Great Kills home on Tanglewood Dr. near Arthur Kill Rd. with a shot to the head around 10:50 a.m., sources said.

A man who announced himself as Conde’s brother and a grieving woman arrived and were quickly ushered inside the home.

A neighbor described Conde as “very patriotic.” He said that Conde told him he did a three- year tour in the Navy before joining the NYPD.

A Navy flag is planted at the foot of Conde’s stoop. An American flag is posted outside his doorway. Conde told the neighbor he had been on the force for seven years.

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NYPD officer commits suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

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Staten Island NY Jan 18 2017 A 31-year-old police officer who shot himself in the neck at his Staten Island home early Tuesday has died, police sources said.

Officer Yong Yun, a nearly decade-long member of the department assigned to the 120th Precinct, shot himself in the neck in suburban Arden Heights at about 5 a.m., sources said.

Paramedics rushed him to Staten Island University Hospital South, where he died at about 5:30 a.m., according to sources.

An investigation into why Yun took his own life was ongoing.

Sources with knowledge of his death said that the cop had a gambling and drinking problem and was recently denied a transfer out of the 120th Precinct, according to officials.

Neighbors said a man they believe was Yun was seen heavily intoxicated at about 2 a.m. Tuesday — about three hours before his death, although it was not immediately clear if this played a role in his death.

Neighbors said the officer wasn’t married and lived with his parents.

“He was a sweetheart, always a good guy,” said Richie Manzi, 48, Yun’s former neighbor. “He loved being a cop. He enjoyed the job. I remember when he was going to start, he was looking forward to going on (the force).”

Yun and his family were perfect neighbors, residents said.

“They are very nice people, very quiet. They keep to themselves,” said George Quevedo, 61, who lives across the street. “My son is a police officer, too, so he’d always say, ‘Hey, how’s your son doing?’ Small talk like that.”

Quevedo was stunned that the officer would take his own life.

“I saw him last week with his brother … He was smoking a cigarette outside. There was no indication he would do anything like that,” Quevedo said. “It’s a shame when you wake up and hear something like that. I wish he would’ve reached out for help.”

NY Daily News

Former Broward Sheriff’s deputy commits suicide after arrest for extorting victims #PrivateOfficerNews

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PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. Jan 5 2017 – A former rookie deputy with the Broward Sheriff’s Office took his own life Tuesday, nearly two months after he was arrested for allegedly extorting a victim for sexual favors, authorities said.

Pembroke Pines police said they were called to a home shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said they found Trazell McLeod, 20, dead at the home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

McLeod was fired by BSO on Oct. 20 after the investigation was opened and he was arrested on Nov. 10.

A termination form said McLeod had no rights to appeal his termination because he was still in a probationary period. He was hired in February.

According to an arrest warrant, McLeod threatened to have criminal charges pressed on Oct. 16 with an intent to extort the victim for sexual favors.

McLeod allegedly told the victim, “You’re going to have to (expletive) me. I’m not only talking about one time — on a consistent basis.”

Authorities said McLeod falsified a police report the next day, stating that he had found crack cocaine on the ground rather than on the victim. Detectives said he falsified the report with the intent to obtain sexual favors from the victim.

McLeod was also accused of trying to criminally charge an innocent person for the cocaine possession four hours after the drugs were seized.

He was arrested on charges of extortion, official misconduct and attempting to tamper with or fabricating physical evidence.

Freeport Village NY police officer commits suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

New York Police Officer Dies On Duty From Suicide

Freeport NY Dec 25 2016 Police are investigating the shooting death of a Freeport Village (NY) police officer while on duty.

The death was originally described as “noncriminal” before a Friday Announcement from Mayor Robert Kennedy.

Freeport Police Officer Sandy De La Cruz, has died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound, said Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy.

“Officer De La Cruz was a decorated 11-year veteran of the Freeport Police Department who started her career in the New York City Police Department,” Kennedy said.
“We are all in shock — police, staff and residents. She was an asset to the community and a great person.”

De La Cruz was 35 years-old. She leaves behind a husband and two children.

Erath County sheriff under investigation found dead inside home #PrivateOfficerNews

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Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant was found dead in his home Monday, one week after it was announced that he was under investigation, the Stephenville Empire-Tribune reported.

City and county officials told the Empire-Tribune that he was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Last week, Bryant spoke out about an investigation by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement that claims he cheated on his continuing education training, the Empire-Tribune reported.

“I don’t know of any investigation against me and I don’t know why there would be one,” Bryant said. “I have done nothing wrong.”

Bryant told the Empire-Tribune that he self-reported an incident this summer where one of his deputies completed a training course for him, but last Tuesday said that he had not been contacted by the TCOLE about an investigation.

The TCOLE confirmed to the newspaper that an investigation with the sheriff’s office began in June.

Bryant served as sheriff of Erath County for almost 20 years.

During that time he was the lead investigator in one of the most high-profile cases to take place in Erath County when the United States most lethal sniper, Chris Kyle, and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were shot to death by Eddie Ray Routh in 2013.

Kyle and Littlefield took Routh to a gun range at Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose to help him with his post-traumatic stress disorder when Routh turned his gun on the two men, killing them both.

Routh was found guilty of capital murder in February of 2015 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Bryant is survived by his wife and son.

Rookie police officer kills wife, himself #PrivateOfficerNews

Long Beach CA Nov 24 2016 A Southern California police officer and his wife were found dead at their home and authorities said Tuesday night they were investigating it as a possible murder-suicide.

Long Beach police said officers were called to the home of the South Gate officer at around 10 p.m. Monday to investigate a possible domestic violence incident.
Upon entering the home, officers found Kyle Kurian, 25, and his wife Greta Kurian, 22, with gunshot wounds in their torsos.

Greta Kurian was pronounced dead at the scene, while her husband was taken to a local hospital and was later pronounced dead, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper reported that police believe Kyle Kurian, a rookie South Gate police officer, killed his wife before turning the gun on himself. The investigation was still ongoing.

The couple’s two children were at home during the incident and were placed in the custody of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

Bibb County sheriff found dead with gunshot inside office #PrivateOfficerNews

Sheriff Keith Hannah (Photo/Bibb County Sheriff)

BIBB COUNTY, Ala. Nov 17 2016— An investigation has been launched after a sheriff was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

Investigators have made no official statement about Sheriff Keith Hannah’s death, but reported an autopsy has been ordered to dermine the cause and manner of death. No foul play is suspected.

“I’m shocked and stunned,”’ Bibb County District Attorney Michael Jackson said. “I enjoyed working with the sheriff over the years. I’m praying for his family.”

Hannah recently celebrated his 29th year with the sheriff’s office. He joined the force at 21 and became sheriff in 2003.

Granville County NC sheriff’s deputy and wife dead in murder-suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

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FUQUAY-VARINA, NC Nov 13 2016 A Granville County sheriff’s deputy and his wife were found shot dead Friday night at a house in Fuquay-Varina in what appears to be a case of domestic violence.

It happened at a residence in the 1700 block of McLaurin Lane where Fuquay-Varina police said Rebecka J. Pearce had been staying at her parent’s residence along with her two young children.

Shortly before 9 p.m., Fuquay-Varina police responded to a report of a breaking and entering in progress.

When police arrived at the home, they found forced entry into the rear door and immediately heard shots fired.

Then there was silence.

When officers entered the home, they discovered two people fatally shot.

Word spread quickly among neighbors on social media.

“Shots were fired and people were injured,” said neighbor Nancy Bennis. “That was about all we knew at that point.”

Another neighbor, Hope Shell, told ABC11, “We eventually found out that there were two dead, felt just miserable about that.”

Police identified the gunshot victims as Rebecka J. Pearce, 30, and Jeremy S. Pearce, 34. Police said they were husband and wife.

According to police, Jeremy Pearce was trying to force his way into the home when Rebecka Pearce called 911. Jeremy Pearce is a Granville County sheriff’s deputy.

Two children, girls ages 6 and 2, were found locked in a bedroom, unharmed. Officers wrapped the children in blankets and removed them from the scene.

“Saw them carry the kids out, felt even worse,” said Shell. “Just shocking.”

The children were later placed with family members.

There were no other people in the house, officers said. Although officers said the case appears to be one of deadly domestic violence and there is no further threat to public safety, the investigation is continuing.

Anyone with information regarding this case, please contact the Fuquay-Varina Police Department at (919) 552-3191.

A GoFundMe page was set up for Rebecka Pearce’s funeral expenses.

LAPD female detective found dead of suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

downloadWHITTIER, California Oct 15 2016 — A Los Angeles Police Department detective who was investigating rape allegations against NBA star Derrick Rose died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday.

Officers found LAPD Det. Nadine Hernandez, 44, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest Tuesday afternoon in a Whittier home, according to the Whittier Police Department. She was transported to a local hospital where she later died.

“At this time, there are no signs of foul play, and this incident is being investigated as a suicide,” Whittier police said Wednesday. “However, this is an ongoing investigation.”

A firearm was recovered at the scene, but it was unclear if it was her service weapon, a police spokesman said.

In a statement, the LAPD said Hernandez was “among several” detectives assigned to the Rose case.

“At this point there is no indication that her case work had any connection to her death,” LAPD said. “The Rose investigation will continue unimpeded.”

Whittier police received a call at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday reporting an attempted suicide in the 8400 block of Via Sierra Ramal, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.

Hernandez was taken to PIH Health Hospital in Whittier, where she died at 3:27 p.m., according to Dean and the L.A. County coroner’s department.

LAPD investigators responded to the house Tuesday, but Whittier police are conducting the investigation, authorities said.

Law enforcement sources said the house where Hernandez was found belonged to a relative. Property records show the home was registered to a retired LAPD lieutenant.

News of the LAPD’s investigation of Rose came to light last month as an attorney representing the woman in a civil case against Rose and other men made a last-ditch appeal to a judge to conceal her identity.

The woman’s attorney, Brandon Anand, filed a request, in light of the LAPD’s investigation, asking U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald to reconsider a decision to have the woman identified during trial.

Anand included in his request a letter from Hernandez, whom he identified as the officer investigating the case. In it, Hernandez wrote that being able to offer anonymity to people who come forward to accuse others of rape is “an invaluable investigative aid to investigators.” She added that the LAPD would continue to guard the woman’s identity throughout its investigation.

The letter was widely reported in national media.

The plaintiff and her attorney were visibly surprised in court Wednesday when told of Hernandez’s death.

LAPD sources who were not authorized to speak publicly about the case confirmed that Hernandez was a detective in the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division Special Assault Section. She frequently was involved in high-profile sex crime cases, authorities said.

We are heartbroken about the tragic death of Detective Nadine Hernandez, a 19-year veteran of the department,” the LAPD said. “It is a loss that touches us all in the LAPD family.”

Hernandez made the news in 2000 when she and a fellow officer fired shots at a murder suspect who tried to drive toward her and other officers during a confrontation in Studio City. The suspect was struck in the forearm and taken into custody.

LA Times

Oakland Community College public safety officer commits suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

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Auburn Hills, MI Sept 18 2016 – An Oakland Community College public safety officer, under a police probe, was found dead of a suicide.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office confirms they were and will continue to investigate the officer even after his death. But a spokeperson declined to give more details.

However, sources tell us, campus administrators got the Sheriff’s Office involved after they noticed weapons missing from campus police. It is not unclear what the officer was doing with the weapons or what his plans were. But it was deemed serious enough to go beyond internal review.

We are told, in interviews just days ago with investigators, he didn’t deny the accusations against him.

He had not yet been charged with any crime.

But, investigators say that the 57-year-old went home, left a suicide note and was later found in a Genesee County park according to police incident reports.

Oakland Community College released a statement which reads in part:

“Our sympathies go out to the family during this difficult time. In light of his passing and given the fact there was an investigation and no criminal charge was made at the time of his death, the college will not speculate or comment further.”

We are not naming the officer at this time.

Police Chief Relieved From Duty Commits Suicide At Police Station Parking Lot #PrivateOfficerNews

Police Chief Relieved From Duty Commits Suicide At Police Station Parking Lot

Bay St. Louis MS Sept 9 2016 Police Chief Mike De Nardo was being relieved of his duties before he fatally shot himself in the chest Thursday, Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said.

Adam said two deputies were at the Bay St. Louis Police Department assisting the city in confiscating equipment and escorting De Nardo from the station.

“That’s where it kind of went bad, I guess,” Adam said.

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said De Nardo was being suspended pending an investigation by an outside agency. He gave no further details on the suspension.

Adam declined to comment on whether De Nardo’s suspension was connected to an ongoing Sheriff’s Office investigation into the city’s handling of a Department of Justice forfeiture fund.

Witnesses said De Nardo had been speaking with two Hancock deputies and a commotion broke out.

The witnesses said after he shot himself, he was alert and was even speaking as he was placed in the ambulance.

He was rushed to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport about 3 p.m. where he later died.

Baltimore County police officer commits suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

White Marsh Police Officer Killed Self in Bel Air Home: Officials


BEL AIR, MD Aug 31 2016— A Baltimore County police officer from the White Marsh precinct killed himself on Monday at his home in Harford County, officials said.

James L. Ward, 42, was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which was called to his home in the 2000 block of Stratton Court in Bel Air at 1:34 a.m.

“I was greatly saddened to hear about one of our officers taking his own life after being involved in a barricade situation for the second time,” Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said in a statement Monday. “It is fortunate that no one else was hurt.”

Harford County deputies were called to Ward’s residence for the first time in April, when he got into a confrontation with police, opened fire on deputies posted outside, then was shot by officers and taken by medevac for treatment at shock trauma. He was allegedly drunk and suicidal during that encounter, which officials said started with a domestic dispute.

After the barricade in April, the Baltimore County Police Department suspended Ward without pay. He was charged with assault and attempted murder in Harford County.

Ward was a 19-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department assigned to the White Marsh precinct.

On Monday members of the Harford County special response team were called to Ward’s residence for a report of a suicidal person and after being unable to get in touch with him, they entered the residence and found him on the lower level deceased, officials said.

Help for Those Considering Suicide

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, there are resources available to help.

The Baltimore County Crisis Response team is available at 410-931-2214.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-SUICIDE (or 1-800-784-2433). Its website offers services including a live chat.

The Kristin Brooks Hope Center provides specific hotlines for suicide prevention, veterans support, teens, grad students and those with postpartum depression.

Murrieta police officer under investigation by FBI dead in apparent suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

Murrieta CA Aug 20 2016 A Murrieta police officer appears to have committed suicide Tuesday, a short time after his home was searched by the FBI.

The body of Detective Jeffrey Ullrich, 55, of Murrieta, was found near the Hidden Valley trailhead in La Cresta, a rural part of the county near the Santa Rosa Plateau.

Ullrich was identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday.

Murrieta Police Capt. Dennis Vrooman said Ullrich was a 16-year member of the force who had been serving as a detective for approximately 11 years.

Laura Eimiller, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said Thursday that a search warrant was served at a residence believed to be Ullrich’s Murrieta home Tuesday morning and evidence was seized.

She did not provide details about the specifics of the investigation because the affidavit in support of the warrant was sealed by a judge.

Lake Elsinore police Sgt. Steve Brosche said Thursday that the body was found in a secluded area near the trailhead. He said it appeared the victim shot himself with a pistol.

The Murrieta Police Department on Tuesday initiated a search for Ullrich after he left a Stater Bros. supermarket, according to Murrieta Police Lt. Tony Conrad.

His vehicle was later found off Tenaja Road near the trailhead.

Time of death was listed as 10:51 a.m.

Press Enterprise

Seminole County Florida deputy shoots-kills girlfriend-commits suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

Seminole County Fla Aug 15 2016 A Seminole County Florida deputy shot and killed his girlfriend before turning the gun on himself Friday night, officials said.

Daniel Carrero, 40, and Mistie Reynolds, 33, were found dead in a vehicle behind a Speedway gas station near U.S. Highway 192 and Shady Lane Friday evening, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain said.

A clerk at the gas station found the couple and called authorities.

Carrero was a 16-year Sheriff’s Office veteran and worked in the digital forensics unit, agency spokeswoman Kim Cannaday said.

Nothing else was released about deaths, including what led to the shooting and whether Carrero used his department-issued weapon.

The gas station is just south of Florida’s Turnpike between Kissimmee and St. Cloud.

Last year, Carrero was honored by Sanford police Chief Cecil Smith after helping nab a suspect accused of burglarizing a pizzeria several times. Carrero did undercover surveillance that helped catch the thief.

Sgt. Craig Hutchinson death ruled a suicide #PrivateOfficerNews

Craig Hutchinson, died in shooting at his Round Rock home ( Travis County Sheriff's Office Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas Aug 14 2016 The death of Sgt. Craig Hutchinson, who was found shot in the backyard of his Round Rock home on July 25, has been ruled a suicide.

In an emotional press conference Friday afternoon, Justice of the Peace Bill Gravell said Hutchinson, 54, died from a gunshot wound from his duty weapon that traveled through the palm of his hand and into his head.

“Often I tell families, much like I did Craig’s wife that morning, that I’m writing the last chapter of their loved one’s life,” Gravell said, before announcing the findings of Hutchinson’s autopsy report.

Willie Richards, Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division at the Round Rock Police Department, offered an extensive look into Sgt. Hutchinson’s life and the timeline of events on the morning of his death.

At 1:22 a.m. on Monday, July 25, Hutchinson radioed to Travis County Sheriff dispatch, “Start Round Rock [police] to my 42. They’ve got prowlers in the backyard.” A minute later, Hutchinson radioed, “Two running out the backyard toward the creek.” It was the last contact he made with authorities.

A witness told investigators that at around 1:28 a.m., they heard a single gunshot. The witness did not hear any voices, sounds of an altercation or activity before the shot was fired.

Round Rock police arrived at the house on Oak Meadow Drive in the Cimmaron neighborhood at 1:29 a.m. and called out “officer down” on the radio three minutes later, requesting Williamson County EMS.

Roads were closed, a perimeter was established and a police helicopter was called in what became a manhunt for possible suspects. Sgt. Hutchinson was taken to St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center and pronounced dead there at 2:25 a.m.

On Monday, Aug. 8, the focus of the investigation shifted when “pieces came together” that indicated the sergeant’s death was a suicide.

Cmdr. Richards said Ibuprofen was the only substance detected in Hutchinson’s body. Medical records show he was prescribed an anti-depressant as of September 2015, but none was found in his body.

In 2014 and 2015, Hutchinson was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and stress, Richards said.

Investigators learned Hutchinson’s house was to be auctioned on Aug. 2, 2016 after multiple foreclosure proceedings since 2011. Hutchinson’s vehicle had been repossessed twice, most recently in June.

Anyone in need of help can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

The Round Rock police chief revealed last week that Sgt. Craig Hutchinson died after being shot by his own gun, and they were looking at it being possibly “self-inflicted” or a homicide as the possible causes of death, without elaborating if they believed the possibly self-inflicted wound was intentionally done or not.

Hutchinson was just 42 days away from retiring when he died after 32 years on the force.

Hutchinson’s wife, Vikki McKinney-Hutchinson, says she strongly disagrees with any finding that Hutchinson’s death was a suicide. She released a statement to KXAN Friday, found here.

After thanking Round Rock police for working around the clock, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton apologized to the citizens of Williamson County “for having to use that many resources to address this particular issue.”

“I know a lot of us are asking why. We probably will never know,” Hamilton said. “I can tell you two weeks before this occurred, Sgt. Hutchinson was in my office talking about how excited he was about retiring and moving to a ranch and tinkering with cattle. And then two weeks later he chose to take his life.”

Hamilton said he was going to do everything he could to let his deputies know that life is precious. “I wish I would have told ‘Hutch’ that. I didn’t. But I was able to tell him before he left my office that ‘I love you,’” the sheriff said. “So if any good thing came out of this I did tell him that I love him, and I think he knew that.”

Justice of the Peace Gravell later took to the podium to say the sheriff does not owe the people of Williamson County an apology. “This is what our officers have been commissioned and asked to do every day of their life,” he said. “Sheriff, we would do this every day of our life in Williamson County until we have evidence that leads us in another direction.”

To help surviving families, most cities and counties offer employee retirement and pension plans. These benefits — accrued over a career of public service — can be passed along to a spouse no matter how that employee dies, a spokesman for the Texas County and District Retirement System says.

Experts say it is important to know exactly how members of the force die because the cause of death is directly linked to benefits for the fallen officer’s family. Now that Hutchinson’s death has been ruled a suicide, his family will not likely qualify for state and federal death benefits, according to state law. A special state fund provides $500,000 for the families of officers who die on the job. An additional $300,000 is available in federal benefits. Free state college tuition and stipends are made available for surviving children as well.

For law enforcement, there are other avenues of compensation. Police union group, TMPA offers a $10,000 death benefit to members. The president of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, or CLEAT, tells KXAN the organization immediately pays $15,500 to a fallen officer’s family.

Executives at charitable organizations such at the 100 Club of Central Texas and the Sheriff’s Memorial & Benevolent Society of Travis County tell KXAN News they have either already contributed donations to Hutchison’s surviving family members or plan to regardless of how his life ended.

Symbolically, Sgt. Hutchison’s name will no longer be posted on the Officer Down Memorial Page.

“His memorial will be removed from ODMP,” confirmed ODMP President Chris Cosgriff. “Although this is an extremely rare occurrence, it has happened once before. In September 2015 Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, of the Fox Lake (Illinois) Police Department, committed suicide that was staged to make it appear that he was murdered in the line of duty. Once the determination was made that his death was in fact a suicide his memorial was removed.”

As well, the marker at the Texas Peace Officers’ Memorial wall at the Capitol Complex will not bear Hutchison’s name, according to CLEAT which oversees the monument.


Roanoke Virginia police officer commits suicide at police station #PrivateOfficerNews

ROANOKE, Va. July 30 2016 The Roanoke Police Department has identified the officer who died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday night at the police station.

Najee Tynes, 29, was found dead just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night in a bathroom at the police department.

Virginia State Police has confirmed the suspicious item found at the Roanoke Medical Examiner’s Office turned out to be a wad of duct tape found on Officer Najee Tynes’s body after he was taken there.

A spokesperson says the tape was put on his ballistics vest and that he had requested a new vest before he killed himself at the Roanoke Police Department Wednesday evening.

Tynes had been with the Roanoke Police Department since Aug. 30, 2011.

According to an online wedding registry for Tynes, he was a retired Military Police Officer in the Airforce. He’s also one of the latest cases contributing to a grim statistic.

“Law enforcement suicide or the rates of suicide in law enforcement are probably some of the highest of any other profession,” Police Benevolent Foundation Spokesman Tim Reichert said.


Murder-suicide involves veteran Waterbury police officer who was battling cancer #PrivateOfficerNews

WATERBURY CT July 21 2016– A city police officer is suspected of shooting a man several times before turning the gun on himself in what is believed to be a murder suicide, according to multiple sources.

The officer, a military veteran with three children, was on the force for about a decade and is believed to have shot a father of two, James T. Stuart, early Wednesday following a domestic disturbance that began at the home he owned with his wife in Naugatuck.

The officer has been identified as Officer Hallock Yocher.

Waterbury police detectives arrived at the home where the shooting took place at 31-33 Marion Ave. and secured the area and processed the scene.

The gray house, with newer pieces of wood around its front porches and a real estate sign in front of it, was considered to be an active crime scene.

Police have not released a motive in the shooting.

Baby found in car after parents’ murder-suicide in Virginia #PrivateOfficerNews

Accomack County VA July 20 2016

Virginia police said they found a baby Saturday unhurt in the backseat of a car where the infant’s parents died in an apparent murder-suicide.

The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release that deputies found 20-year-old Elizabeth Madison Ann Jensen of Sanford and 27-year-old Jonan Fabricio Gonzales-Funes of Bloxom both dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside a vehicle on Saturday morning.

Authorities said Gonzales-Funes was a correctional officer who worked for the sheriff’s office since September 2015. He reportedly had served as a Marine.

It was unclear how long the baby was left inside the car. Friends of the couple told WTKR that the baby had “a lot of mosquito bites” but otherwise was doing fine.

The infant was placed in the care of family members. Investigators believe Gonzales-Funes killed Jensen before turning the gun on himself.

A friend of the woman told WAVY that Jensen enjoyed horseback riding. “She always had a smile on her face, always laughing and having a good time,” Alyssa Behr said.

Both bodies were taken to the medical examiner’s office for autopsies.