Jan. 30, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A GoFundMe page set up in honor of Officer Nicholas Mencaroni, an off-duty police officer who committed suicide in his Middle Village home last week, has raised more than $13,000 for his surviving fiancée.
Mencaroni, 41, had served as an NYPD officer for 15 years before he shot himself in the head inside his home on Friday afternoon.
Mencaroni’s fiancee, Jen Carrol, found him and called 911. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital where he died soon after.
The GoFundMe, set up on Sunday Jan. 27, has a goal of raising $20,000. To date, $13,565 has been raised, all of which will be given directly to Carrol.
“This fundraiser is for her, to help her deal with the aftermath of this tragedy, seek any professional help she may need to cope with everything, and begin starting her life over after this unimaginable loss,” the fundraiser description reads.
The fundraiser’s organizers, Eric Hasselriis and Justin Thompson, go on to describe Carrol as “truly a saint” who is “absolutely heartbroken and traumatized by the shock, disbelief, and loss of her best friend and soulmate.”
It is unclear what the relationship of the organizers is to Carrol and Mencaroni.
Community members and local officials alike spoke out about the loss of Mencaroni soon after the tragedy. Commenters on the GoFundMe page recalled Mencaroni’s good nature and sense of humor.
“Nick had this engaging personality,” one commenter wrote. “You couldn’t help but laugh at most of the things that came out of his mouth.”
Council Member Robert Holden honored Mencaroni in a Facebook post and provided resources for any officers who may be struggling with mental health issues.
“Officer Mencaroni helped protect our city for many years and it saddens me to think that he wasn’t able to find the help he needed in return,” Holden wrote.
“For any officer who may be struggling with depression, PTSD, substance abuse or any other stressor, there are resources available within the NYPD POPPA unit, NYC Department of Mental Health and Hygiene and elsewhere.”
In a Youtube video, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill echoed Holden’s recommendations, emphasizing the importance of police officers to seek help.
“As cops, our jobs are stressful, dangerous and often misunderstood, and sometimes the emotional and physical strain in our professional lives and personal lives can seem like too much to bear,” O’Neill said. “But what seems unbearable today may be more manageable tomorrow.”
Services for Mencaroni will be held in Huntersville, North Carolina. A visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31 at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home. A graveside will be held Friday, February 1, 2019 at Northlake Memorial Gardens Cemetery.