A police officer from the 115th Precinct killed himself Monday afternoon after finishing his shift, becoming the fourth member of the NYPD to commit suicide this year, and the second who worked in Queens.
Officer Matthew Schindler, 39, was driving toward his home on the Long Island Expressway when he pulled over in Nassau County at around 4:30 p.m. and shot himself, according to multiple published reports. Schindler was married and had three children, the reports said.
He had been with the department for 14 years and was a highway safety officer based at the precinct that covers the Jackson Heights-East Elmhurst-Corona area.
Schindler’s suicide follows those of Officer Brian Saar, who shot himself in his house in Suffolk County on Super Bowl Sunday, reportedly after arguing with his wife; Terrence Dean of the 111th Precinct in the northeastern corner of Queens, who killed himself on duty after getting a call from his girlfriend about his depression; and Officer Patrick Werner, who shot himself in his parents’ house in Yorktown Heights after leaving the scene of an accident, one that reportedly occurred while he was arguing with his girlfriend on his cell phone.
There is a band of police officers who provide volunteer help to fellow cops who need it. The nonprofit group is called POPPA, for Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance, and it is not a part of the department. The Finest can call POPPA’s hotline, (1) 888 COPS-COP (267-7267), anytime day or night to speak with those who understand the job. A volunteer officer will meet with a caller within 24 hours, or right away when necessary. More information is online at poppainc.com.