The Chicago Police Department has been under a consent decree since 2019, following an investigation by the Justice Department
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago police is coming under scrutiny for not doing enough to prevent officer suicide.
The department has been under a consent decree since 2019, following an investigation by the Justice Department.
The criticism is part of the latest report on police reform efforts through the consent decree, and comes on the heels of another officer taking her own life this week.
Five officers have died by suicide so far in 2022. While CPD is credited with making some progress, for the families who lost a loved one to suicide, that's not much consolation.
"It's just, it's so devastating," said Julie Troglia. "It's so hard for everyone."
Troglia's husband Jeff took his own life on March 5, 2021.
In July, the department was rocked by three officer suicides. At the time, CPD Supt. David Brown promised help.
"We'll keep working to make sure every officer has the support they need
But the latest report, covering the first half of 2022, from the Independent Monitor overseeing police reforms criticized the department because it had "not implemented the required Officer Suicide Prevention Plan."
The report also noted the "Professional Counseling Division currently had 11 clinical staff vacancies."
"I do think that the professional counseling division has built incredible bandwidth and is doing a lot of work to reach the need of so many people who need help," said Alexa James, CEO of NAMI Chicago and former CPD wellness advisor.
Troglia said the officers just don't get enough time off and the challenges of the job take a toll.
"Hopefully a better change will come quicker for these men and women especially now this is a very difficult time of the year for a lot of people," she said."
The independent monitor found that CPD has now reached at least preliminary compliance with about 78% of the consent decree requirements. In particular, critical updates were made to policies, procedures and training. However, some reforms are still falling behind.
The ACLU notes that after four years CPD has only reached full compliance in 5% of the requirements.
"When the city tries to impress us by saying they're reached some level of preliminary compliance that's not really being upfront with folks. They city has you know just gotten to first base and yet they're trying to sell is off like it's a home run," said Joshua Levin, ACLU of Illinois.
Brown said while he is proud of the department's progress, he knows there is much more work to be done.
The report points out staffing issues, and the struggle to recruit and retain officers.
If you are experiencing suicidal, substance use or other mental health crises please call or text the new three digit code at 988. You will reach a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also go to 988lifeline.org or dial the current toll free number 800-273-8255 [TALK].