You Are Not Alone workshop

Thursday’s You Are Not Alone workshop in North Port was a suicide awareness and prevention program for kids and their parents.

NORTH PORT — North Port city police will honor a lost officer in a private event, a spokesperson said.

Anthony Cornine, a detective, died Friday. It was reported that he died by suicide.

Cornine, 37, had been with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office before transferring to the North Port Police Department four years ago. He was married.

DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office deputies found him late Friday at his Arcadia home. Details of his death or related job issues were not released.

“There is a protocol with an off-duty death,” North Port city spokesperson Josh Taylor said about the in-house ceremony. Those plans were being reviewed Monday, he added.

North Port’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team and its chaplain helped co-workers cope with Cornine’s death.

“Our current focus is making sure we are doing everything we can to comfort Anthony’s family and our NPPD family,” Chief Todd Garrison said, adding the department would hold active-duty death observances when a funeral is held.

Cornine’s death coincides with an ongoing suicide awareness effort in North Port. The city hosted a You Are Not Alone workshop for kids and parents less than a week ago. Health experts shared details on suicide and suggested places to turn for answers.

Counselors also talked with schools kids. The mental health event was prompted by the April death by suicide of a North Port middle school girl. A handful of youth suicides in the city were reported in the last two years.

Vanessa Miller, with National Alliance on Mental Illness-Florida, told a session Thursday of her darkest days — which included thoughts of suicide and self-harm.

Those thinking suicidal thoughts or acting on them, Miller said, aren’t ill, but feel as if they don’t belong or are a burden to others.

“In that state, they’re very torn … they’re in pain,” she said.

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, observed nationally since 1949. Back to Basics is this year’s theme. Community events are scheduled to spotlight the issue.

Punta Gorda holds its an annual event Saturday at Gilchrist Park. Free mental health screenings and Narcan, a drug treatment for overdose, are available. That starts at 9 a.m.

Undercover work in North Port won’t be impacted by Cornine’s death, Taylor said. Nor are prosecutions likely to be affected. Officers work in teams, he said.

“(You) don’t send someone out on the their own,” he said of detective work. “No one works independently.”

Meanwhile, friends and family are coping with his death.

“We ask that you all pray for those impacted by this tragic loss and respect the privacy of those involved,” he said.


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