Back in the 1990's I worked in the CopCare Office. It was an organization that cops and their families could turn to seek help with many difficult situations. Such as problems, where to get marriage counseling, finance and credit help, alcohol and drug abuse, medical specialists etc. It was set up to assist anyone in law enforcement but mostly utilized NYPD. It was not run by the JOB, it was grant money, private donations and the PBA also kept it going. The office wasn't on any department site. There were no reporting to the PD. The people who worked there were all NYPD cops, active and retired. Some with degrees in alcohol counseling.
One day I was working the phones. I received a call. I answered "Cop Care, how can I help you?" A low male voice said " I want to talk to a cop". I said sure,how can I help you ? He slowly began to explain some of his problems. He told me he had been modified, his wife left him two weeks ago and took his kids. Last night his dad suddenly died. He said " the job took my guns, so I'm in the kitchen" I could hear him looking through a utensil draw. He said "I'm looking for the sharpest knife I can find, so I can cut my throat" .." Once I do it, I want you to send someone afterwards, so my body isn't found three or four weeks from now" I took a deep breath and began to speak with him. I was attempting to get as much information to locate him. This was before caller ID, and I was alone in the office so I couldn't get someone else to start a phone trace. I told him my name and asked what's yours? He whispered Richey (not his real name) I said "Richey, please let's just talk" I kept looking at the office door, hoping someone would show up. To start a trace while I kept him on the line. He was very agitated,to calm him down, I began to talk like we were two cops working for the first time in a radio car. I just kept talking about everything and anything I could think of..how the JOB sucks sometime, an also the good times, some of cops who did crazy things, the commands we worked, funny jobs we handled, bosses, best places to eat, movies, TV any thing to win him over to open up. After almost an hour. I said Richey " I need to try and help you, and if I could, I would wrap my arms around you and take all your pain away" but you have to tell me where you are. He finally broke down and told me he lived in Nassau County and gave me his address. I covered the phone and grabbed the other phone. I called his Brooklyn command for a delegate to get to Rickey. I then called the Nassau County PD and explained the situation. I got back to Richey, told him "please put the knife back in the kitchen draw, and unlock the front door. I'm going to have a cop just like you a me come to help you" We kept talking and talking then I could hear a knock at his door. Richey answered the door, I could hear voices and a portable radio. Richey spoke for a moment, then handed the phone to the Nassau cop. The officer said "hello?" and identified himself. I told him my name and where I was calling from. I said " please be gentle with Richey, he is hurting" the cop said " I'm former NYPD, I'm going to take care of him as if he was my own brother" I thanked him profusely and hung up the phone. I was shaking and emotionally and physically drained.
About three months go by. The office phone rings, I answer it. "CopCare this is Gene, how can I help you?" A familiar voice said "hey Gene, it's Richey..do you remember me?' It was like an electric shock ran through my body! I nearly shouted "Yes! Of course I remember you we talked for a long, long time" Richey said "I'm calling to let you know, I've been to therapy and counseling, and my wife and kids came back home!" He said "Gene, you saved my life, I will never be able to repay you" I said "no repayment is needed, we are Cops and when we need Help we call our Brothers for assistance, I just answered your 10-13" we spoke a little more as the tears ran down my cheeks. I wished him well. Then the phone rang for the next call for help.
Today if you feel overwhelmed there is always someone who will help call POPPA 800-599-1085 Or 800-COPS-COP