A RIKERS Island guard who served as a Department of Correction officer for a decade died on Friday morning after jumping from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Cops say Edward Roman, 38, jumped at around 6.30am. Now, officials are calling for reform within New York City jails.
Cops said Roman was pulled from the water by the US Coast Guard. He was later pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital, according to the Staten Island Advance.
Benny Boscio, president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, called out the stressors and working conditions that correction officers deal with in acknowledging Roman's death.
“Correction Officer Roman was well liked and respected by his fellow officers. He had his whole life and career ahead of him,” Boscio said.
“This tragedy is also a solemn reminder of the enormous stress correction officers face on a daily basis. The worsening conditions in our jails doesn’t just affect the inmates.
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"Our officers go to work every day not knowing if they will return home the same way they left. They go to work every day not knowing if they will miss time with their loved ones because they are forced to work a double or triple shift.”
The incident comes just one day after New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order seeking solutions to staffing issues and conditions in city jails.
A commission will work to solve these issues, led by lawyer Brendan McGuire and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks.
“I call on the newly-formed Rikers Task Force to immediately address the psychological toll this job takes on my members and to provide them with more access to counseling and other support services,” Boscio said.
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“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Roman’s family and his fellow officers. We will do everything we can to support them during this painful time.”
Roman was from Long Island and joined the Department of Correction in December 2011.
“Edward Roman served this city and this department honorably as correction officer for 10 years,” DOC Commissioner Louis Molina said.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and loved ones. We had been praying for his recovery, and now this tragic loss will be felt across the agency.”
Other officers were hit hard by news of Roman's death.
"We can never do anything right, we’re always working and never see our kids,” one officer told Yahoo News.
“At least in the NYPD, you can get fresh air and go to Starbucks.”
The DOC said it is making counseling available to staff.
A number of tributes in Roman's honor have surfaced across social media.
NYCD Boldest Football wrote: "This morning in a tragic event we lost one of our own. Former Boldest football player Correction Officer Edward Roman, we would like to send our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family at this time."
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"It is with great sadness that we’ve learned of the passing of Correction Officer Edward Roman of the North Infirmary Command today.
"May you RIP, we’d like to send out prayers and condolences out to all of Officer Romans family friends and co workers during this difficult time! Our hearts are with you," wrote the New York City DOC Hispanic Society.
You’re not alone
SUICIDE is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Leading Causes of Death Report from 2018.
There were "more than two and half times as many suicides" in the US than there were homicides, according to the report.
For people ages 10 and 34, suicide was the "second leading cause of death" and the fourth for individuals ages 35 to 54.
Suicide is a vital health concern in the U.S. It affects all genders, races and ages.
This is why The-Sun.com launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The campaign calls on readers to discuss their mental health issues with their family, friends and health professionals. We can all pitch in to help out others who may be suffering and help save lives.
If you are struggling to cope, you are not alone. There are many free and confidential programs in the US aimed to help those who are struggling with their mental health.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health problems, these organizations are here to provide support:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org, 1-800-273-TALK
- Crisis Text Line, www.crisistextline.org, Text HOME to 741741
- Veterans Crisis Hotline, www.veteranscrisisline.net, 1-800-273-8255
- Trevor Project, www.thetrevorproject.org, 1-866-488-7386
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