Chicago police officer suicide: Former cop says more needs to be done to help officers after recent suicides

CHICAGO (USNEWSPRESS) — Suicide among police officers has been prevalent in the Chicago Police Department in recent weeks.

According to the department, two of their officers have recently died by suicide, and just Saturday morning, a third officer attempted to take their own life. That officer is said to be in grave condition, according to officials.

Chicago police continue to ask for prayers for the officers and their families.




“It’s very heartbreaking to know that an officer was under so much stress, so depressed, they felt that they’re only way out is to take their life,” said Jamay Nellum-Fane, a former CPD officer.

On July 2, CPD said a 29-year-old officer took her own life.

Then, another officer was found dead at his home Friday by suicide.

Having served 16 years with the Chicago Police Department, just retiring in April, Nellum-Fane said the emotional stress of being a police officer has become extreme.

“The days off being canceled, and then we have to be real –the stress that our officers are under responding to calls — person with a gun, person shot, domestic battery, child abuse, sexual assault,” she said.

She said the stress, in part, led to her retirement.

“I went through that dark period, facing depression, facing PTSD, facing post-traumatic stress. It was just too much. It was over-bearing,” Nellum-Fane said.

“We can always do a better job of looking out for our brothers and sisters, and trying to pay attention to possible crisis moments that we can intervene,” said FOP President John Catanzara.



Both the Fraternal Order of Police president and Nellum-Fane agree more can be done.

“I think that they have to be more creative and actually assign maybe counselors, social workers, whatever the case is, to actual districts,” Nellum-Fane said.

CPD released a statement Saturday that said:

“Today, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) learned that an off-duty sergeant is in grave condition after suffering an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. A family, a department, and a city are navigating this tragedy. Please lift up the officer’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers, and the officers who worked beside them.

Serving as a police officer comes with difficult and dangerous work every day, yet everyday officers do everything they do to make this city safer for all. This selfless work does not come without sacrifice. Officers perform their duty while managing full, active lives and maintaining personal commitments. We must never forget that these officers are also human, and deal with the same challenges everyone else does. We are reminded that we have to be there for one another, especially in trying times such as these.”

In response to a tweet by the Chciago Police Department Sunday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot replied:

“Please know that we hear you & are working tirelessly to ease the mental & physical burden of our police officers.”

 

If you feel suicidal or you’re worried about someone you know, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. You can also text the Crisis Text Line by messaging TALK to 741741.

For more information, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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