You can rest now, Brother …
Yesterday while everyone was still talking about the attempt to block the Kennedy Expressway a police sergeant fought his own inner battle downtown and lost. He was found by fellow officers in his squad car about 3:45 p.m. He was unresponsive and was taken to Northwestern Hospital by ambulance. A CPD spokesman said the officer’s death was a suicide.
His name hasn’t been released at this time, so I won’t mention it. He was 48 years old, married with two kids. That could be a lot of people I know. It has been a lot of people I know.
Across this country, our police officers are taking their own lives more now than ever. It’s easy, that gun is on your hip. Even now that I’m retired I could reach over two feet from me and pick up my pistol from the drawer. But having a gun handy isn’t the reason for the suicides. It’s only the method.
Police officers are under greater stress today than ever before. I don’t know why this sergeant made his choice. I have seen some friends end their life because they found they had cancer. Others because their family broke up. One officer who worked for me killed herself because she gambled away all her money and was too ashamed. Whatever their reason, is it is enough for them to end their life to take away the pain? Only now the pain is passed on to someone else.
I’m making this short. If you are feeling suicidal there are people ready to help you. Our department has people ready to race out any time of the day to help you through it. If you don’t want someone from the department there is the National Suicide Helpline at 800-273-8255. There are churches and hospitals ready to help you. Just reach out.
If you suspect someone may be suicidal don’t sit silently. Do something to help them now. Don’t wait until it is too late.
As always your comments are welcome and encouraged.
Stay safe, run low and zigzag,
– Robert Weisskopf (Lt.ret.)