CHICAGO – The Chicago police department acknowledge a tragic start to 2019 as another officer took his own life.
Police News Affairs confirmed Tuesday the officer, who worked out of the 7th District, died by suicide.
Sources told WGN the officer was found dead at his home. Sources said he had worked for the department for six years.
2018 was a rough year for CPD. They suffered with the loss of four officers who were killed in the line of duty and three in recent months who took their own life.
In December, two officers working out of the 5th District—Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo—were chasing a suspect on foot when they were struck and killed by a Metra train.
Consequently, there has been a lot of death in a short period of time.
Monday night at a media briefing, police superintendent Eddie Johnson, acknowledged the issue.
“We had a terrible 2018 in terms of officers getting hurt, killed and committing suicide,” he said. “Yet these officers come out every day and every night and do what we ask them to do.”
Moreover, Superintendent Johnson said police chaplains and counselors with the employee assistance program have been on hand to talk with officers who need help, according to WGN.
Currently there are six chaplains and five clinical therapists on staff to serve more than 13,000 employees. Is this enough?
A 2018 study by the Ruderman Family Foundation found the number of police officers who died by suicide was more than triple that of officers who were fatally shot on the job.
And according to the Department of Justice, the suicide rate in the Chicago Police Department is 60 percent higher than the national average due to the chronic gun violence and high murder rate exposing officers to a staggering amount of trauma.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention hotline anytime at 1-800-273-8255.