Edward Roman: Rikers Island corrections officer jumps off Verrazzano Bridge over workplace stress

The incident occurred just a day after NYC Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order to address staffing concerns and jail conditions


                            Edward Roman: Rikers Island corrections officer jumps off Verrazzano Bridge over workplace stress
Police said Edward Roman jumped to his death from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge (Edward Roman file photo(L)/Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images(R))

STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK CITY: A city prison officer Edward Roman, 38, took his own life by jumping from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on Friday, 13 May. The reason being associated with his death is workplace stress. Roman leaped from the bridge at the Staten Island side just after 6.30 am. He was pulled from the sea by NYPD divers after witnesses contacted 911. He died on the spot.

According to police, the US Coast Guard rescued Roman from the water. He was subsequently declared dead at Staten Island University Hospital. In a statement following Roman's death, Benny Boscio, president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, highlighted the pressures and working conditions that correction officers experience. “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. 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.”

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The incident occurred only one day after New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed an executive order to address staffing concerns and jail conditions. A panel formed by lawyer Brendan McGuire and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks will seek to resolve the concerns. “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.

“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, a Long Island native, joined the Department of Correction on December 22, 2011, and was assigned to Rikers Island's North Infirmary Command. “Edward Roman served this city and this department honorably as correction officer for 10 years,” DOC Commissioner Louis Molina said, reported Daily News. “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.”

NYCD Boldest Football wrote on social media: "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."



 

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741).

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