A RIKERS Island guard who served New York City for more than a decade died on Friday after jumping from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Cops say Edward Roman, 38, plunged from the bridge around 6.30am. His death came as 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 face in a statement about 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.
“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 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 the 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.
“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 was making counseling services available to its staff.
A number of tributes in Roman’s honor surfaced across social media following his passing.
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.”
“It is with great sadness that we’ve learned of the passing of Correction Officer Edward Roman of the North Infirmary Command today,” wrote the New York City DOC Hispanic Society.
“May you RIP, we’d like to send out prayers and condolences out to all of Officer Roman’s family, friends, and co workers during this difficult time! Our hearts are with you.”
You’re not alone
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