‘Unimaginable loss’: Chicago police Deputy Chief dies by apparent suicide in department facility

USA Today:

  • Police officers, in general, are at particularly high risk of alcohol abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, posttraumatic stress disorder and other challenges, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nearly 1 in 4 officers has thoughts of suicide at some point in their life.
  • “One of the shocking statistics for me was that cops kill themselves at a higher rate than bad guys kill the police. And when you put it in those numbers, you realize that there’s a real problem,”

A newly-promoted Chicago police officer and father of two has died by suicide, city officials said Tuesday – at least the second officer this year to die by suicide in a department that has long struggled with officers taking their own lives.

Deputy Chief of Criminal Networks Dion Boyd, 57, died last night, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Several news outlets reported that Boyd was found at the Homan Square police facility on the West Side Tuesday morning. Several news outlets in Chicago reported that Boyd died of a gunshot wound.

In a press conference Tuesday, Police Superintendent David Brown said he was “heartbroken” by Boyd’s death, which he referred to as a suicide.

Department spokesperson Anthony Spicuzza said Tuesday afternoon that the incident was being classified as a death investigation.

Paramedics responded to the facility at 1011 S. Homan Ave. at about 9:30 a.m. and found him unconscious, according to the Chicago Fire Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

He is being remembered as passionate and dedicated throughout his 30-year career. Boyd’s nearly 30-year career included experience as a tactical officer, undercover officer in narcotics, homicide detective and internal affairs officer.

The Cook County medical examiner said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

Boyd worked in the Chicago Police Department for more than 30 years, serving the city’s South Side as Commander of Area 1 and the 2nd District, along with numerous other roles, Lightfoot said. He had been sworn in as deputy chief of criminal networks on July 15.

“Deputy Chief Boyd was a man who commanded respect, and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, particularly his two sons, who are now grieving over this unimaginable loss. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Brown said in a statement.

In the afternoon press conference, Brown said that “the job of a Chicago police officer is not easy, especially at a time when there is intensified stress.”

Suicides have been a continuing problem for the Chicago Police Department for years. The city’s suicide rate among officers was 60 percent higher than the average of 18.1 officers per 100,000 nationally, the U.S. Justice Department reported in 2017.

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