Officers with South St. Paul, Rogers police departments die unexpectedly while off-duty

The law enforcement community is mourning two police officers in the Twin Cities metro who died while off-duty this week. 

The South St. Paul Police Department said Sgt. Cory Slifko died unexpectedly Tuesday night while off-duty. Slifko was a 20-year veteran of the police department. He left behind a wife and two young children. 

"Our entire police department family is in mourning and our hearts go out to his entire family. His presence within our department and our community as a whole will be sorely missed," the police department said in a Facebook post. 

"We all face challenges in our life at one point or another," the post read. The police department is encouraging anyone who is struggling to reach out to the MN Crisis Line by texting MN to 741741. 

Officer Blake Neumann, a five-year veteran of the Rogers Police Department, also died unexpectedly while off-duty Wednesday morning. Chief Dan Wills confirmed to FOX 9 that Neumann died by suicide. 

“Officer Neumann was a well-respected and knowledgeable officer and honorably served our city since 2014,” the police department said in a Facebook post. 

Neumann left behind a fiancé and two young children.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or other mental health issues, the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The lifeline has trained staff available 24/7 to help those in crisis. If you prefer to text, text “MN” to 741741 to be connected to the MN Crisis Text Line. 

Chief Wills also encourages law enforcement officers to look to the organization Backing the Blue Line, which provides a list of mental health resources on its website.