There have now been seven suicides among officers in the Chicago Police Department in 2018. Those who advocate for police officers’ rights have pointed to increased stress from increased workloads, canceled days off, and a general anti-police climate as contributing factors to officers’ mental health problems.
Alisha Warren, assistant commissioner of mental health for the Chicago Department of Public Health, and Robert Sobo,
director of the Chicago Police Department’s Professional Counseling Division and Employee Assistance Program, appeared on “Chicago Tonight” to talk about the difficulties police officers face and the help that is available to them.
Brown Stated That Additional Measures Are Needed To Ensure The Safety Of The Police
An off-duty police officer was discovered dead earlier this week, also from an apparent suicide. On December 15, a third officer was also found dead from an apparent suicide.
Since 2018, at least 25 Chicago police officers have taken their own lives. Police departments across the city have reported a mental health crisis in the wake of the officer’s death.
This year, Brown received harsh criticism for canceling officers’ vacation days and providing what some officers saw as insufficient mental health services. In June, Lightfoot defended Brown’s decision and dismissed officers’ concerns by saying that they had “incredible” free time.
In a report from the Office of the Inspector General published in September, it was found that between April 1 and May 31, over a thousand officers worked 11 or more consecutive days.
The suicide rate among police officers was found to be 60% higher than the national average, according to a report from the Justice Department in 2017.
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For The Time Being, That’s All The Info We Have
At a press conference unrelated to the officer’s death, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had heard the news and urged people to reach out to those they know who are struggling.
Lightfoot remarked that “this is a tough time for everyone,” but that those with mental health issues were especially hard hit.
Police Chief David Brown issued a statement in which he said that officers must deal with the stress of responding to traumatic incidents while also juggling “their own personal lives and difficulties.”
Therefore, Brown argued, it is critical that we increase and improve resources for our officers. Everyone in the department and the families of those we have lost to suicide are devastated by the recent tragedies we have experienced.
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3rd Chicago Police Officer In A Week Dies In Apparent Suicide
At least three officers from the Chicago Police Department have committed suicide in the past week, and on Thursday morning, an off-duty officer was found dead in what appears to be a suicide.
Officer’s body was discovered in his Southwest Side home, authorities said. An autopsy will be performed on Friday at the Cook County medical examiner’s office, but official word on the officer’s cause of death won’t be available until Monday when the Chicago police department’s spokesman says he’ll know for sure.
Police officers are human too; they feel pain and witness cruelty on a regular basis as they respond to traumatic incidents. They do this while also juggling their own personal lives and difficulties,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said. The recent tragedies we have experienced have been extremely heartbreaking for the loved ones of those who have taken their own lives… In closing, I’d like to ask the people of Chicago to please keep those who have been affected in their prayers. I’d like you to pause and consider how much our police officers sacrifice in order to do what so many others would not.
The death comes just two days after another Chicago police officer killed themselves. She was found dead in her Northwest Side home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being assigned to the downtown and South Loop areas. She had been a member of the Chicago Police Department for the past five years.
On December 15, a former Chicago police officer who had not worked in the force for more than a decade was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her home on the city’s Northwest Side.
Three Chicago police officers, including a sergeant, committed suicide in July. CPD leaders were criticized for having officers work too many consecutive days and too many extended shifts, and the deaths in July prompted calls for improved mental health care for police.
In response to a late August report that revealed at least 1,000 officers had worked 11 or more consecutive days in the spring, Brown announced new rules to facilitate police officers taking time off.