xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Baltimore police officer and suicide

The story of Edward William Eldridge Jr. got worse with every phone call I made.

He was a Baltimore police officer for 26 years, and he killed himself last month when he couldn't find anyone to take him to the hospital for routine surgery. He also had lost money in his retirement fund, but it was his attempt to go to the hospital that he mentioned in his suicide note.

What is striking about this story is that Eldridge was alone. No family, no children, no wife, no aunts or uncles, and worst of all, no friends. How could that be? How can you spend 26 years in a job and not make a friend? Cops bond, they hang out with each other. They live the job even when they're not on it.

Advertisement

It's a reminder to us all to keep in touch with old friends and co-workers.

Since today's story was published, I've heard from a former friend and a former colleague, both of whom expressed dismay that Eldridge took his life. But from what little they told me, it fits his tragic story.

Advertisement

John Miller retired as a lieutenant from the Baltimore Police Department in 2004 and now lives in Hanover, Pa. He worked in the Central District with Edward for 10 years. He noted that some cops hung out together, while some others had lives beyond the department. Ed he said, "wasn't a typical cop."

"Some guys didn't want to be around police when they weren't working," Miller told me this morning. "Ed was a good guy. He would do anything to help you. But he didn't want to associate with anybody. He didn't go to shift change parties. We thought he had a personal life outside the Police Department and didn't want any of us around it. Then, when this happened, we find out Ed didn't really have much of a life and didn't have any friends."

Darline Helmer told me that Ed's mother Ruth and father Ed were dear friends of her mother and grandmother. They were neighbors on Homestead Street in Better Waverly. "I saw the newspaper article and thought, 'Oh my God, that's Eddie.' I tried to keep in contact with him after my parents passed away, but Eddie was a very private, alone type of person. I would invite him to family functions and he wouldn't come."

"He was always a very private person, a very intelligent man. He was not outgoing, but he was very smart, very respectful, and very much attached to his parents. They had him later in life and he was the apple of thier eye. There was no one in the world to them like him. When he went into the service, his mom cried for days and days."

She added: "It's funny how you lose touch. You call and they don't respond and you move on."

Anita B. Schulman sent me this email:

Gary Smith sent this:

And City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke sent this:

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement