3rd Chicago police officer dies by suicide this month, department announces

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Monday, July 18, 2022
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Another Chicago police officer has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, marking the 3rd department suicide in just weeks.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Another Chicago police officer has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, marking the third suicide within the department in just weeks.

The video featured is from a previous report.

"The Chicago Police Department is mourning the loss of the off-duty sergeant who succumbed to his injuries today," CPD said in a statement Sunday.

The officer was initially reported in grave condition Saturday after attempting suicide.

RELATED: Suicide prevention: New 988 hotline is the 911 for mental health emergencies

The incident came just one day after another CPD officer was found dead in his home by suicide, and weeks after another took her own life.

"We ask that the city wrap its arms around this sergeant's loved ones as they mourn his loss. Please also take a moment to pray for the men and women of CPD, who are grieving alongside this sergeant's family," the department added.

The third officer's identity has not yet been released.

"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.

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.

RELATED: Chicago's 22nd Police District hosts first-ever 'wellness fair' to help officers' mental health

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.

In response to a tweet by the Chicago 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.