Beyond the Badge’s Strikeout Suicide softball game aims to turn tragedy into opportunity
Members of law enforcement took part Saturday in Beyond the Badge’s Strikeout Suicide softball game, where they aimed to turn tragedy into an opportunity for the next generation of officers.
Teams gathered at Baldwin Harbor Park to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention among the ranks.
“We want this game to encourage people to know there are people who will rally behind you if you come forward for help,” said Michelle Panetta, of Beyond the Badge.
Of the six NYPD officers who died by suicide this year, three were from Long Island.
Amanda Mullaney is mourning the loss of her husband, NYPD Deputy Inspector Denis Mullaney, of Wantagh. Their 5-year-old son threw out the first pitch.
“We have to love our law enforcement. What they do for us for everybody, they don't get enough credit and they deserve all the credit,” she said.
Nationally, nearly 200 police officers committed suicide last year.
“People don't call us when they have happy news. They call us in the worst moments of their life,” said Thomas Shevlin, from Nassau police’s Employee Assistance Office. “We're dealing with negativity on a daily basis and after a while, it builds up. We are human.”
Beyond the Badge aimed to raise $10,000 from the event that will go toward scholarships and suicide prevention programs. Saturday marked the third annual Strikeout Suicide softball game.