NJ Advance Media
MATAWAN, N.J. — An off-duty Roselle Park, N.J., police officer fatally shot himself after crashing his car into two parked vehicles in Matawan on Sunday, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday.
Edward Nortrup, a 39-year-old Aberdeen resident, lost control of his vehicle around noon and crashed near a two-story home on Broad Street across from the Matawan Municipal Community Center.
The prosecutor’s office said it appeared Nortrup struck two parked cars and then partially rolled over before coming to a stop. He was trapped inside his vehicle.
“As first responders left the vehicle to get equipment to help with the extraction, the driver located a firearm and fatally shot himself,” Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesman Chris Swendeman said in an email.
Roselle Park Police Chief Daniel McCaffery did not say if Nortrup used his service weapon. He said an investigation into the gun used is ongoing by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Nortrup was a 13-year veteran of the department who served in the detective bureau and was a member of the Union County Emergency Response Team, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. He graduated from the John H. Stamler Police Academy in 2007.
“We are grieving as a department for the loss of our officer," McCaffery said in an email to NJ Advance Media.
In New Jersey, there were 17 police suicides last year and 37 since 2016. Last summer, the state Attorney General’s office launched a program, called the New Jersey Resiliency Program for Law Enforcement, which will require every officer by the end of 2022 to attend a two-day training session that addresses mental health and coping mechanisms.
“This is training that is necessary with the epidemic of law enforcement suicides nationwide,” McCaffery said. “We welcome any training that allows our officers to cope with the stresses of our jobs as best that we can.”