A former Phoenix police officer who recently revealed his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder to CBS 5 News has apparently taken his own life.
The death of Craig Tiger is being investigated as a suicide by Coconino County Sheriff’s deputies. Tiger was found unresponsive in his vehicle over the weekend at his family’s cabin in northern Arizona.
Tiger’s death has sparked a debate about whether police departments do enough to care for officers after critical on-duty incidents.
The president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, Joe Clure, said he believes Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia and the Phoenix Police Department played a part in Tiger’s death.
“We should have done a lot more for Officer Tiger than what we did,” said Clure.
In June 2012, Tiger and his partner were forced to shoot a man aggressively threatening them and the public with a bat. The suspect died at the scene.
When Tiger shared his story in September 2014, he said the shooting affected him immediately.
“I went home that night to an empty house. It started immediately. I proceeded to self-medicate with alcohol, and it started that night, that very night,” Tiger said.
But in about a week, Tiger was back on the street, cleared for duty after a one-hour session with a psychologist hired by the police department.
The 12-year police veteran continued to work the streets, but off duty he suffered in silence and developed a serious drinking problem.
Around the year anniversary of the shooting, Tiger said it became too much.
“We have a family cabin up north, and I was going up north to kill myself. I had guns with me in the car, and I was subsequently stopped for DUI on the way up. In hindsight, it saved my life because I wouldn’t be here right now,” Tiger said.
Tiger was arrested and charged with DUI. He was placed on administrative leave and went for treatment.
During treatment, Tiger was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He sought help with a veterans’ group. But his job was on the line.
One of Garcia’s first moves after taking over the Phoenix Police Department was to more severely punish officers arrested for DUI.
The department did not choose to handle Tiger’s discipline through the Department Review Board. Instead, Garcia held a termination hearing with Tiger and his union representative, who happened to be Clure.
“I sat next to him in that hearing where he (Tiger) poured his heart out to the chief and said, ‘This is what I’m going through. This is what I’m dealing with.’ He brought medical evidence to substantiate the fact that he suffered from PTSD. And the chief’s response was essentially, ‘I don’t care; you’re fired.'”
Robbie Adler-Tapia is a Tempe-based psychologist who specializes in treating emergency personnel with PTSD.
Adler-Tapia believes departments don’t do enough for their officers after critical incidents.
“They’re exposed to critical incidents every day. And the wear and tear of it just takes its toll on them. And we don’t provide services to keep them in shape, you know, psychologically healthy,” Adler-Tapia said.
Clure echoed the doctor’s opinion.
“We ignore them. We get rid of them because we don’t want to assume the liability for them. We fire them. That’s the standard operating procedure,” Clure said.
Clure said that as the news of Tiger’s death spread through the department, he was flooded with text messages and emails from officers expressing their belief that the department turned their back on Tiger and that other officers have been or are in the same position.
“I think the entire process needs to be looked at because, quite frankly, Craig Tiger is not the first victim that I’m aware of regarding the Phoenix Police Department’s lack of care or lack of concern for officers that suffer from this illness,” Clure said.
CBS 5 News requested an interview with Garcia, but was told he would not speak. In an email response, a spokesman said:
Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich said he was notified by 911 operators around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday (Nov. 5) that Nides, 64, died of a gunshot wound to the head.
The federal trial was entering its third day, with testimony expected to turn to claims that Nides took sexual favors and cash bribes from Tiffany Gambino Miller, co-owner of pain management clinics in Slidell and Metairie who along with a doctor cut plea deals.
Nides, who was assigned to a DEA task force, was wounded by Tuesday’s testimony from former law enforcement colleagues, who defense attorney Arthur “Buddy” Lemann accused of lying on the stand.
There was a certain amount of eagerness about (the testimony) that really crushed him,” Lemann said.
Yet Nides seemed confident when he left the courthouse, Lemann said.
“I liked our chances,” Lemann said.
Lemann said Nides’s wife was devastated by the death of her husband of more than 30 years. The couple had two children and were expecting their first grandchild.
Lemann said he expected the government was close to wrapping up its case, and he planned to put on the testimony of Nides’ former partner.
Lemann had painted Nides, a veteran of 40 years in law enforcement, as a hardworking cop who had been deceived by Miller and Dr. Joseph Mogan III, who ran the Omni Pain Management clinic in Metairie and Omni Pain Management Plus in Slidell.a
Miller had yet to testify, but prosecutors said she would testify that she performed oral sex on Nides in his car and at the clinic on multiple occasions from 2007 to 2008, as well as giving him envelopes of cash. In exchange, Nides advised Miller on how the clinics could disguise the fact that the Omni clinics were “pill mills” where doctors would write prescriptions for powerful painkilling medications to patients with little justification.
Mogan testified that the clinics raked in $1.5 million a year, money he split with Miller. Nides, according to court records filed along with Mogan and Miller’s plea agreements, received cash payments of $600 to $2,000 on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Nides was free on bail since his indictment in February.
‘Very nice guy’
Nides lived with his wife on 3rd Street in River Ridge, a quiet, dead-end block that neighbors said is home to many retirees. Several declined to be named, but described Nides as a friendly, kind person.
The couple’s single-story brick house with white shutters sits on a manicured lawn that neighbors said was the result of Nides’ daily attention. He was constantly outside working on his front yard landscaping, neighbors said, and would always wave to passing cars and stop to chat to pedestrians.
“He kept his yard immaculate,” neighbor Wayne Pritchett said. “He was always out there fooling with his garden and would always wave to you every day.”
Nides and his family were living there when Pritchett moved in 15 years ago. They became friendly, but not close, Pritchett said, noting he had seen Nides outside working in his yard on Sunday, the day before his trial started.
“I’m just sad to hear that because as far as I know he’s a very nice guy,” Pritchett said. “I’m sad for his wife and children.”
As word trickled through the road’s residents Wednesday morning, neighbors visited on each other’s front stoops, discussing the surprising and sudden death of the man they knew as friendly and even-keeled.
“Are you serious?” one woman asked, shocked.
Several neighbors said they hadn’t heard of Nides’ legal troubles and would have never suspected he would be at the center of lurid allegations — let alone kill himself over them.
“I’m sorry that it would cause that,” Debra Murphy said of his apparent suicide. “I wish that he would’ve been able to get through it.”
A woman at the Nides home declined to speak to a reporter.
A Cook County Sheriff’s officer was charged Tuesday with ripping off drug dealers while he was assigned to a federal task force — and his partner died in an apparent suicide in a federal lockup.
The deceased officer was found Tuesday morning in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where he apparently hanged himself, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. Authorities didn’t identify him.
His partner, Robert Vaughn, 44, of Frankfort, is charged with conspiring to commit robbery of marijuana, contraband cigarettes and money.
Vaughn and the other officer were arrested Monday in an FBI sting in suburban Bedford Park. Vaughn and the other officer approached an undercover agent’s car, thinking he was a drug dealer transporting 70 pounds of marijuana in two duffle bags, authorities said. The other officer allegedly handcuffed the agent and put the duffle bags in the sheriff’s car. The FBI then arrested both sheriff’s officers.
Vaughn was wearing an orange jail uniform in his court appearance Tuesday.
Both officers were members of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area team, a joint federal, state and local initiative to combat narcotics dealing. They conspired with a former police officer to rob people of marijuana, contraband cigarettes and money, federal prosecutors said. That former officer, who had worked for the Lyons Police Department was convicted in August on federal corruption charges.
Vaughn’s next court appearance will be his detention hearing, set for 11 a.m. Wednesday. At the end of his hearing Tuesday morning, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Martin told him: “Hang in there, Mr. Vaughn. OK?”
Vaughn did not respond. He sat down and held his head in his hands before eventually being led away by U.S. marshals.
New York NY Nov 5 2014 An off-duty NYPD detective apparently committed suicide in a Queens home Monday, police sources said.
The 45-year-old shot himself in the head around 12 p.m. inside the residence on 50th Avenue near 190th Street in Auburndale, authorities said.
“I don’t know what happened to him,” said a distressed woman who identified herself as his mother, standing outside the New York Hospital emergency room where he was pronounced dead.
A dozen officers showed up to support his family at the hospital.
The detective is believed to have worked in the 110 precinct in Queens, which covers Corona and Elmhurst.
He was not immediately identified.
Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedia says Missana stole $130 from a woman’s pocketbook, while he was on duty.
Sedita says the pocketbook was found by a Good Samaritan. That person handed the pocketbook over to police, thinking they would return it to its owner.
Instead, Sedita says the officer stole the money before returning the bag.
Missana has been arraigned and pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.
Police Commissioner Dan Derenda has suspended Missana without pay.
Col. Mike Hettich, well-known for his work as chief deputy with the sheriff’s office and as Kentucky’s national representative with the Fraternal Order of Police, was 56.
“The whole agency is in a state of shock,” Col. Carl Yates said. “This was very unexpected, very sudden, very sad.”
Hettich and three majors from the sheriff’s office traveled to Barren River Lake state park, southwest of Glasgow, for a training session for law enforcement command executives that began Monday.
Hettich, a 33-year veteran of the department, attended the morning session and returned to his room at the lodge during a lunch break. He was soon found dead in his room, from what is believed to have been a self-inflicted wound.
No foul play is suspected.
Yates said he and Sheriff John Aubrey combed through his personnel file Monday and found stacks of commendations. He was not under any sort of investigation, Yates said.
“Everyone’s asking, but nobody has a clue as to why,” Yates said.
Hettich, a graduate of Trinity High School, was married to a major at Louisville Metro Police. He had one child and a step-daughter. His sister also works for the sheriff, Yates said.
His body is being returned to Louisville for an autopsy to confirm the manner of death.
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell two years ago recommended Hettich be appointed to the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board, which hunts for officers across the country to be honored with the attorney general’s award for courage.
McConnell issued a statement Monday, calling Hettich “a giant of public service.”
Hettich was a past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Deputy Sheriff’s Lodge 25 in Jefferson County.
He served as Kentucky’s national trustee for the Fraternal Order of Police.
“He was a big cut up, he’d joke with you,” Yates said. “But when it gets time to get serious, he’s very serious.”
The Courier Journal
BALTIMORE, MD Oct 13 2014 —Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Napoleon McLain, Jr., age 31, of Randallstown, Maryland today to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base. McLain was an officer with the Baltimore City School Police Force (BCSPF). BCSPF officers are granted police privileges to carry firearms and conduct arrests within the City of Baltimore.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“It is shocking when a police officer is caught selling illegal drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Fortunately there is no evidence that the defendant distributed drugs to school students.”
According to his plea agreement, from no later than December 2012 to August 2013, while he was employed as a BCSPF officer, McLain was a member of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine base. McLain bought multiple ounces of cocaine base at a time from his suppliers, which he sold to others. On four occasions between December 2012 and August 2013, McLain sold a total of approximately 150 grams of cocaine base to a confidential source for $9,800.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney David I. Sharfstein, who prosecuted the case.
The driver’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Campbell and the city last year in federal court. Then in June, Campbell submitted to a contentious deposition about the events that led to the death of 21-year-old Joshua Madison, a father of two sons.
About two weeks later, the tragedy multiplied: Officer Campbell committed suicide.
Newly obtained police reports show the lawsuit — and the deposition — were weighing on the 33-year-old gang enforcement officer before he hanged himself in his Southwest Side apartment in July.
“It is unfortunate that the stress of the lawsuit may have contributed to Officer Campbell’s death,” said Kathleen Zellner, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit. “We were unable to settle the case with the city attorneys prior to his deposition.”
“Officer Campbell’s death was a tragedy, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends,” said John Holden, a spokesman for the city’s Law Department.
Zellner and attorneys for the city were scheduled to discuss a possible settlement this week, but it’s unclear from court records what happened.
According to police reports the Chicago Sun-Times obtained through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, one of Campbell’s fellow officers told detectives investigating his death that he was “worried about a deposition” he gave in June.
In the deposition, Campbell said the shooting was a “wake-up call” for his excessive drinking.
Campbell said his alcohol abuse caused him to become irritable and provoke physical altercations and “he acted in a way that he did not like,” according to a court filing by Zellner. Campbell said he sought treatment for his drinking shortly after the shooting, the filing said.
In the lawsuit, Campbell is accused of firing recklessly into the passenger window of a Nissan Maxima driven by Madison.
Another officer had been conducting surveillance for drug dealing in the parking lot of the KFC restaurant at 59th and Western. The officer saw two people approach the Nissan but didn’t see any packets of drugs being handed over. Still, the officer instructed Campbell and another officer to park their unmarked car in front of the Nissan to block Madison and his girlfriend from leaving, the lawsuit said.
Campbell allegedly drew his gun and pointed the weapon at Madison, who tried to drive away because he feared for his life.
Campbell leaned into the passenger window, and Madison accelerated toward the exit with the officer hanging onto the car. Campbell fired about a dozen shots at Madison while his girlfriend watched in the passenger seat, the lawsuit said.
No drugs or weapons were found, and police didn’t have any evidence that Madison committed a crime, the lawsuit said. Madison wasn’t trying to run over Campbell or scrape him against another vehicle, according to the lawsuit.
But the city denied in a court filing that Campbell’s use of deadly force was improper.
On July 8, about two weeks after Campbell gave his deposition, police officers and paramedics conducted a well-being check at his apartment because he failed to show up at work.
They found him in a bedroom, hanging from a belt. Officers searched for notes he might have left for his family, but the police reports don’t mention that any were found.
John Violanti, a professor at the University at Buffalo/The State University of New York, said officers like Campbell are at higher risk of suicide than the public.
“Police officers don’t want to go out and kill somebody,” said Violanti, a former New York State trooper. “Officers who do that usually get in a lot of turmoil.”
Officers involved in shootings can suffer the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, including flashbacks, he said.
“And there are some officers who don’t want to deal with it and kill themselves,” Violanti said.
The suicide rate for officers is about 16 per 100,000 people, compared with about 11 per 100,000 for the public, according to a study Violanti conducted. He said departments must do everything they can to support officers involved in fatal shooting incidents.
In his deposition, Campbell said he went through mandatory counseling following the shooting.
Chicago Police officials said privacy issues bar them from talking about services provided to Campbell. But every officer involved in a shooting must participate in a class “with a strong emotional component as well as firearms training,” according to the department.
If a problem is identified, the officer is referred to an employee assistance program for more counseling.
Starting this year, a new traumatic incident stress management program was created “to further minimize the aftereffects of a traumatic incident, which can include police-involved shootings,” according to a department statement, which added: “We have also recently included alcohol testing in our random drug testing for department members.”
One officer who was involved in a shooting told the Sun-Times he was satisfied with the services he received.
“I got what I needed,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media.
Chicago Sun Times
The body of Joe Delarosby, 50, a highly decorated deputy who retired in August after 19 years with the department, was found beneath a tree in the park off Palm Coast Parkway NW in Palm Coast near a memorial for fallen law enforcement and fire personnel, according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Paula Priester.
The situation began about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon when police were called to a domestic disturbance in the 3100 block of Apache Circle, according to authorities.
The man stayed inside the home, although a woman who apparently had been involved in the disturbance managed to get out of the home fairly early on, according to police.
Police tried for several hours to contact the man inside, but received no response.
Ultimately, they went into the home and found him dead at about 6 p.m., said Senior Deputy Tim Lohman, who added that it appeared the man had killed himself, although authorities did not say how he had done so.
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed he was with the agency.
“He was one of our officers,” said Drake Madison, an officer with the department. “He apparently committed suicide.”
Madison said the agency was not releasing his name before being assured next of kin had been notified.
Madison said the officer was assigned to an office in the San Fernando Valley, although he could not give a specific office.
During the height of the situation, police blocked roads and intersections in the neighborhood near Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks. But within a couple of hours after the man was found dead, there was little sign of anything out of the ordinary except in front of the two-story single-family home where the incident occurred.
At the house, which is two doors from Apache Circle’s intersection with Rainbow Creek Circle, there were six or seven officers — some in uniform and some in plain clothes — in the front yard or going in or out around 8:40 p.m. Lights were on downstairs in the muted yellow stucco house with white trim, while a light was on and the window was open in what appeared to be a bedroom with a balcony upstairs over the garage. The only other visible light that was on upstairs appeared to be in a bathroom.
In front of the house, a dark sport utility vehicle and a silver-colored pickup were in the driveway. Parked in front of the house on the cul-de-sac were a patrol car and a crime scene investigation van.
Although few people were outside in the neighborhood after dark, neighbor Rob O’Keefe was sitting on the front porch of a home on Rainbow Creek Circle.
He said a police officer lived with his wife in the home where the body was found. O’Keefe said they were a nice couple and that he would often see the man walking his dog in the area.
Neighbor Al Hans said he’s lived in the neighborhood for a number of years. He said it’s a quiet area, so he was surprised to see the police in the neighborhood of stucco homes that appeared to have been built in the 1970s.
Madison said Los Angeles police might provide more information on the dead officer on Wednesday. But for now, he summed up the situation in a few words:
“We lost one of our own.”
Radnor Township PA Sept 12 2014 — Law enforcement officials have confirmed the suicide death of a local police officer.
Township police are mourning the death of Officer Robert “John” Miller, a 9-year veteran of the department.
Authorities say Miller, 34, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the police department parking lot at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“Please keep Officer Miller and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” said police officials in a statement released late this morning.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
LOWER PROVIDENCE PA Aug 30 2014 — A man found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the parking lot of the township municipal building Wednesday afternoon, has been identified as a police officer.
The Lower Providence Police Department has identified the officer as Mark F. Wells, a 25-year employee of the township police department.
The release says the 45-year-old man was found in a green utility vehicle in the lower parking lot of the township building around 2:30 p.m.
The Lower Providence Township Police Department was assisted at the scene by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, the release said.
Lower Providence Ambulance and the county coroner were also at the scene.
Adairsville GA Aug 24 2014 Adairsville police Lt. Matt Fowler was remembered Friday evening as an enthusiastic law enforcement officer who loved his community and his job.
Fowler, 31, of Rome, was found dead Friday afternoon in his unmarked Ford Crown Victoria in the Adair subdivision off Ga. 140 in Adairsville.
He was pronounced dead at 5:45 p.m. and his death is a suspected suicide, according to Bartow County Deputy Coroner Brian Irish. He died of gunshot wound to the head, Irish said.
Fowlerâ€™s body is being sent the Georgia Bureau of Investigationâ€™s crime lab for a full autopsy, Irish added.
Rome Police Chief Elaine Snow said Fowler â€” a 2001 Rome High School graduate â€” first came to Rome police as a patrol officer in January 2004.
Snow said she remembers him as always smiling, and always had nice, positive things to say.
â€œHe will be missed,â€ Snow said late Friday. â€œHe was very good officer, very dedicated to his job. He loved what he did and loved his community. He worked very well with his fellow officers and was well respected.â€
Snow added that during his four years of service with the Rome police he received numerous letters of commendation.
Many Romans might remember it was Fowler who caught a dangerous murder suspect in August 2007.
Fowler was the first officer to arrive on the scene of the Wilkerson Road shooting on Aug. 26, 2007, that claimed the life of Charles Jeffery Christian, 46, and seriously injured Phyllis Hayes Avery, 32, after John Clayton Corley went on a shooting spree with an AK-47.
Snow said Fowler was awarded Officer of the Month, and later Officer of the Year in 2007 for the act. He also received proclamations from both the Rome City Commission and Floyd County Commission, she added.
Fowler also served as a Floyd County police officer before going to Rome.
Floyd County police Maj. Mark Wallace said Fowler worked two stints with the county police.
â€œHe was a young officer when he came to us,â€ said Wallace. â€œHe was very business-like, a real go-getter. He came to policing from the Explorers program. It was something he always wanted to do since before he was in diapers, and he really designed his life around doing that.â€
According to Fowlerâ€™s LinkedIn.com account, he worked at the Euharlee Police Department before going to the Adairsville police in 2012.
At Adairsville, he held the position of chief of detectives and support services division commander as well as the departmentâ€™s public information officer.
Adairsville City Manager Pam Madison said his death is a loss for their community.
â€œHe was definitely one of the good guys,â€ she said.
Adairsville interim Police Chief Arnold E. Gillman could not be reached for comment late Friday.
Snow added that even though Fowler hadnâ€™t worked for her department in years, he would still drop by her office from time to time to say hello.
â€œHe was more than just an officer,â€ Snow added. â€œHe was our brother, and he was a dear friend. It just breaks my heart. This is a tremendous loss for us.â€
HOUSTON TX Aug 21 2014 — The KHOU I-Team has confirmed the officer who took his life was under internal investigation. He was a 21-year veteran of the force, and out of respect for the family, KHOU has chosen not to release his name until Houston Police officially do so.
Multiple sources confirm to the I-Team that he was relieved of duty earlier Tuesday. He is one of four HPD officers relieved and ordered to turn in their badges amid a ticket-rigging investigation that questions where those officers were, and when.
An I-Team analysis of speeding tickets written by the Houston Police Traffic Enforcement Unit reveals several dozen cases in which officers were listed in two places at once. That includes the officer who committed suicide.
For example, he is listed on two tickets along the Katy Freeway one early February morning. At 12:29 a.m., he is shown as a witnessing officer near the Westcott Street exit. But also at 12:29 a.m, the same officer is listed as writing a ticket to another citizen near Gessner Road.
That’s seven miles away.
Another set of questionable tickets occurred late at night in May along the Katy Freeway. Records show the same officer was supposedly at Westcott Street witnessing a speeder. But somehow, he was also writing up a citizen for speeding nine miles away at the same exact time.
The I-Team also identified cases in which the same officer was listed on two completely different roads. Also in May, the same officer is listed at I-610 and Memorial Drive at 12:52 a.m., but also listed at I-10 and Gessner Road at 12:52 a.m.
The facts indicate it is fiction.
Law enforcement sources told the I-Team the motivation for the alleged ticket-rigging was court overtime. Witnessing officers are subpoenaed and must appear ready to testify.
Records show the officer who killed himself made $158,000 in overtime over the past three years.
It’s unclear how much of that overtime was linked to the questionable tickets.
Relief of a duty is an action that HPD traditionally has taken in only the most serious of cases, that may result in criminal charges.
The Houston Police Department was not immediately available for comment.
HOUSTON TX Aug 20 2014 – A Houston police officer shot and killed himself Tuesday afternoon in downtown Houston, according to reports.
The incident happened at that old HPD headquarters, located in the 6100 block of Riesner.
Upon completion of traffic court, the officer went back to the garage and entered his patrol car.
Police sources said the officers who made the discovery were alerted by the fact that the emergency lights in the victim’s patrol unit had been turned on and were flashing. That’s what made them take a closer look. They found him dead inside the car.
“When officers pulled him out of the vehicle, at that point, they determined he was deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said Houston Police Public Information Officer Victor Senties.
The officers also retrieved the weapon from the patrol car. The officer’s identity has not been released.
NORWALK CA Aug 20 2014 Cerritos College officials confirmed Tuesday that the school’s chief of police, Richard Bukowiecki, died as a result of an apparent suicide.
Westminster police officials informed college authorities of Bukowiecki’s death Monday, said Aya Abelon, spokeswoman for Cerritos College.
Officers were called to a Super 8 motel in the 15500 block of Beach Boulevard yesterday after a cleaning woman found Bukowiecki’s body inside one of the rooms, Westminster police Sgt. Richard Mize said.
Investigators learned Bukowiecki had checked into the motel on Sunday.
The 47-year-old married man served on the campus police force for 26 years and was chief for the past eight, Abelon said.
Bukowiecki joined campus police in 1988 as a part-time dispatcher and became an officer the following year. He served as a lieutenant for 11 years before being promoted to interim chief of police. In 2012 he was awarded Outstanding Classified Manager.
He is also credited with creating a program that allows students majoring in administration of justice to work for the department while completing their associate’s degrees and for helping install emergency phone towers in campus parking lots.
Faculty and staff were informed of Bukowiecki’s death Tuesday, said Abelon.
College President Linda Lacy called his death “a tragedy” in an email statement to staff, according to the school’s newspaper, Talon Marks.
Counselors are being made available to staff members at the Norwalk campus, she said, and anyone requiring additional support can call a 24-hour counseling hotline at 800-531-0200.
It is unclear if students were alerted to his death.
The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Department is investigating and will determine his cause of death, police said.
“He certainly was a consummate professional,” said Peekskill Police Chief Eric Johansen, who recalled Vazeos’ heroic deeds, including his willingness to dive into the Hudson River to help save an older couple who accidentally drove their vehicle into the water in October 2005. “He saw someone in need, and thinking nothing of jumping in, he unbuckled his gun belt and went in. That was the kind of officer he was.”
Vazeos, 49, was pronounced dead early Saturday in his home at 7 Welcher Ave. of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in a suicide, the Westchester County Office of the Medical Examiner said.
More than a half-dozen Peekskill police vehicles and a Westchester County Crime Scene Unit truck were outside a multiunit home at 7 Welcher Ave. late Friday into the morning hours. Johansen said the incident remained under investigation.
Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina, who witnesses said was at the scene at the start of the police investigation, later took to his Facebook page, announcing Vazeos’ death and thanking him for his years of service.
“If you’ve been around Peekskill for 23 years or less, you probably had contact with Chris,” Catalina wrote. “He was everywhere helping, protecting and saving lives and property. There are no words to soften this blow.”
Vazeos, who is survived by his mother and children, graduated from Peekskill High School and was well-known throughout the community, Johansen said. He epitomized community policing with his knowledge of Peekskill and its residents, the chief said.
“He was a very active member,” Johansen said. “Everyone knew who he was.”
Authorities arrived at the Welcher Avenue house shortly after 9 p.m. Friday and remained there until after 3 a.m. Saturday.
The building is opposite a shopping plaza containing a McDonald’s and an A&P.
Authorities at the Peekskill police station later said Vazeos was off duty at the time of his death.
Vazeos made numerous arrests throughout his career and on more than one instance survived physical attacks while on duty.
Fishermen discovered the body of Trooper Kerstin S. Williams, 27, on the southern shore of Nassau Lake at about 9 p.m. Sunday near Lake Shore Circle Drive, troopers said.
An autopsy conducted Monday confirmed the cause of death, said Capt. Scott Coburn of Troop G in Latham.
Williams did not leave a suicide note, troopers said.
Details about the self-inflicted wound were not disclosed by State Police.
Williams’ death comes as the nation’s law enforcement leadership has devoted more time to discussing the causes of officer suicides and developing ways to prevent them.
Studies and statistical reviews have found that “law enforcement officer deaths by suicide were twice as high as compared to traffic accidents and felonious assaults during 2012,” according to the International Association of Chiefs of Police report “Breaking the Silence on Law Enforcement Suicides.”
The report notes that between June 30, 2009 and Monday there were four suicides involving members of the State Police. That’s over a five-year period. It also recommends police agencies conduct training and intervention to prevent officer suicides.
Williams joined the State Police in November 2012. After graduating from the State Police Academy, she was assigned to Troop F in Liberty, Sullivan County.
Williams’ last shift was Thursday. She then had the weekend off, Coburn said.
Williams, a lifelong town resident, earned the Girl Scouts’ Gold Award, which was presented at a 2004 ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Albany. She graduated from The College of Saint Rose in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree and was named to the dean’s list.
“Trooper Williams always had a positive attitude and was eager to do a good job while on the road,” Maj. Patrick Regan, the Troop F commander, said in a statement.
“She was well-liked by both her peers and supervisors and showed the skill set and potential to have an outstanding career with the New York State Police,” Regan continued.
Troopers were stunned by Williams’ death, Coburn said. Investigators into her death and troopers who worked with her have access to counseling through the Employee Assistance Program, Coburn said