MATAWAN, NJ — An off-duty Roselle Park police officer fatally shot himself in the head after being involved in a crash in Matawan Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

It is with tremendous sadness that Police Chief Daniel J. McCaffery announces the passing of Roselle Park Police Officer Edward Nortrup. Patrolman Nortrup was a 13-year veteran of the Roselle Park Police Department. Patrolman Nortrup was a co-worker, friend, and a brother.

Patrolman Nortrup attended the John H. Stamler Police Academy graduating in 2007. Patrolman Nortrup served in the Detective Bureau, and had been a member of the Union County Emergency Response Team.

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Always willing to help others, Patrolman Nortrup was a well-respected member of the law-enforcement community, and will be sorely missed. We would ask that you respect the privacy of the family during this time of grieving. 

“We are grieving as a department for the loss of our officer,” McCaffery said.

The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident, authorities said.

According to NJ.com, there were 17 police suicides last year in New Jersey and 37 officers have taken their own lives since 2016. In August 2019, NJ State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal took steps to protect the physical and emotional well-being of law enforcement officers by launching the New Jersey Resiliency Program for Law Enforcement. The program's goal is to provided officers with the tools they need to cope with the unique stressors of their jobs. 

“We cannot fully comprehend the emotional and mental stress that our law enforcement officers suffer on a daily basis,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We owe it to them to not only combat the stigma associated with seeking help, but also to give them the tools they need to deal with the stress and trauma they endure. It is our hope that this first-in-the-nation program will serve as a first line of communication allowing officers to unburden job stresses and provide them with the support they deserve. We can no longer allow them to suffer in silence.”

Scotch Plains Police Chief Ted Conley said that his department also notifies officers about other programs, such as NJ Cop2Cop, a 24-hour peer support program for NJ Law Enforcement Officers and their families that is run by retired and active duty police. The helpline number is (866) COP2COP (866-267-2267).

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