The NYPD is forming a new team of psychologists to combat mental-health issues among its ranks following a spate of cop suicides last year. The department announced Tuesday it has hired a head psychologist who will oversee a team of five other mental health experts’ one for each municipality. The move comes as NYPD officers mourn the death of Det. Paul Federico. Earlier in February 53-year-old with nearly three decades on the job hanged himself in his home.
The psychologist, whose name was not released, will start on March 1. The rest of the team has not been hired. This is the latest effort by the NYPD to de-stigmatize mental-health treatment after 10 active-duty cops killed themselves in 2019. In October, the department launched a partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian for free counseling and medication for officers. Critics previously said the city’s insurance made it tough to get mental health help.
A month earlier, NYPD guidelines were changed, allow cops in treatment to keep their badges, even if they are forced to turn over their gun. That system, though, had a rocky roll out with one, 12-year veteran calling the recent shift in policy smoke and mirrors.