Chicago police officer killed in suicide ID'd by medical examiner

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Sunday, July 3, 2022
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(FILE)
WLS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago police officer who died of suicide Saturday morning has been identified.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the officer Sunday as 29-year-old Patricia Swank.

The department "experienced the heartbreaking loss of one of our police officers to an apparent suicide," Chicago police said in a statement.

"The officer's family is forever changed, and we ask that you please hold the officer's loved ones in your thoughts and prayers, as they begin to process this tragedy," the police department statement read.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot also released a statement that said:

"My heart aches for the entire Chicago Police Department family who are grieving the loss of one of their own. Every single day officers risk their lives for our safety and we cannot take the demands placed on the men and women of our police force for granted. The Superintendent and I remain committed to ensuring that all officers have access to the supports and services they need to aid in their mental health and well-being. I urge any officer who needs some support to seek that help. There are resources available to support you and your family through the Employee Assistance Program at 312-743-0378."

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"Being a police officer is a difficult job and the work they do every day to safeguard this city comes with an additional burden. Despite this, they continue to put their lives on the line, while balancing taking care of their families and themselves. We must always remember that these officers are also human, and share the same joys and fears, and trials and triumphs. This incredibly difficult loss reminds us that we need to uplift one another, even in the most challenging times," the police department added.

More than a dozen suicides have been reported in the CPD since 2018. A 2017 Justice Department report found CPD's suicide rate was 60% higher than the nationwide average for officers.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers help around the clock for people in crisis at (800) 273-8255.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this post.