The sister of an NYPD police officer who committed suicide says he didn’t get the help he needed despite the numerous warnings she made to the department.
Eileen Echeverria said that she told the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau that her brother was a threat to himself and others because of his mental health issues.
Her brother, Robert Echeverria, committed suicide on Wednesday at his Laurelton, Queens home. It was the latest in an alarming trend of NYPD officers taking their own lives.
She claims that he didn’t get help because he was afraid the department would demote him and put him on desk duty.
The NYPD did confiscate his weapons, and made him speak to a doctor, but he was cleared several days later and his weapons returned.
“Why can’t the city of New York hire a bunch of counselors,” she said, “and randomly call in officers and say, ‘You know what, yesterday, Officer Jones, you were spat at. How you dealing with that? Officer Smith, there was a bucket thrown.’
“I know it’s expensive, but it’s a dream I have,” she said.
Echeverria wants more resources to help officers like her brother.
“Internally the NYPD is broken,” she added. “Should another mother ever have to go through that? Should a wife? Should children?”
Here’s an interview with Echeverria:
Police Officer’s Sister: NYPD ‘Responsible’ For His Suicide