Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » CPD suicide rate far higher than elsewhere
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
CPD suicide rate far higher than elsewhere

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

* Sun-Times

Buried among the facts and figures in the Justice Department’s recent book-length report on the failings of the Chicago Police Department was a telling statistic: The rate of suicide among CPD officers is 60 percent higher than other departments across the U.S.

Among the ranks of the nearly 10,000 patrol officers of the CPD, an average of three officers will take their own lives each year, according to life insurance claims information from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the union representing the bulk of the department’s sworn officers.

In the past decade, 13 officers have been killed in the line of duty. Nearly twice as many officers died by their own hand during the same span.

Ron Rufo was a peer support counselor for most of his 21 years as a patrolman in the 9th District, volunteering to talk to his fellow officers at any scene where an officer was killed or injured. Rufo, who retired a little more than a year ago, estimates the number of his former peers who kill themselves each year could be double the FOP figure.

“There is a problem, and nobody’s doing anything about it,” Rufo said. “Supervisors don’t talk about it. The rank-and-file don’t talk about it. And it’s like the administration does not want to admit it’s a problem.”

Go read the whole thing before commenting, please. Massively depressing.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:18 am:

    Read this last night and something that stuck out was that whenever the city moved toward the union, for example time off after shootings, the union whined and complained about getting what they wanted. I understand that the genesis from the union perspective was protection of existing assignments, not actually promoting sound health and welfare of officers, but that just shows the disconnect between the FOP and reality.

  2. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    I wonder if an organizational culture that didn’t involve covering up or being complicit in murders committed by your colleagues has contributed to the slight increase.

    Either that, or maybe that’s how they deal with people that are uncomfortable covering up crimes committed by their colleagues.

  3. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    lots of factors go into suicide. it is also true that many suicides are completely not predictable, not related to an immediate incident, not visible to those who know the person. I know an officer who committed suicide and it was not remotely related to a shooting.
    the topic needs discussion. and not from an adversarial union did this City this that perspective. real serious discussion by all parties, including residents. there should also be discussion of addiction. alcohol and abuse of other substances is typically mentioned with dark humor for police and government attorneys almost as a given. also marriages falling apart. these government workers deal with death and injury every day. it’s not just a topic of stress for residents.

  4. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    “The rate of suicide among CPD officers is 60 percent higher than other departments across the U.S.”

    Why is the national news outlets not picking up on this sad statistic?

  5. - so... - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    I can see where it’s a stressful job.

    You’re the first line of defense in a city with over 700 murders a year.

    You’ve got citizens, who you’ve sworn to protect, taunting you and sticking a camera in your face while you’re trying to do your job.

    You have have everyone from the Attorney General on down denouncing you and your co-workers as racist thugs.

    You’re afraid if you admit you need some help that you’ll lose your job.

    It’s a real shame.

  6. - Earnest - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    >I wonder if an organizational culture that didn’t involve covering up or being complicit in murders committed by your colleagues has contributed to the slight increase.

    I must say I had the same thought. And that’s not to paint the vast majority of police officers as anything but good people doing a very hard job. An organizational culture that is responsive to the concerns of its employees without penalizing them and that places a priority on its employees by providing ongoing training Could help address this issue. That’s not to dismiss the challenging nature of work itself either.

  7. - In 630 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:50 am:

    It’s encouraging that the FOP at least supports that little bit that would be good. They so often seem aligned against anything that would actually make the police better out of pure resistance to change.

  8. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:53 am:


  9. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    My comment was blocked. Again.

  10. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    Before we start speculating about recent causes, remember this is a ten-year statistic. This is a deep problem, and will require well-designed solutions.

  11. - Because I said so..... - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    I’m not certain but I recall seeing a news report recently on the high rate of suicides for fire fighters as well. These people see and deal with a lot.

  12. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    This ~You’re afraid if you admit you need some help that you’ll lose your job~

    is both true and completely reprehensible. It seems to me being able to get help would make the CPD better able to do its job and less likely to randomly shoot unarmed black guys.

  13. - Anon - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    ===Why is the national news outlets not picking up on this sad statistic?===

    The article suggest that the rate is 3 out of 10,000 a year. While the statistic his high for that statistic, it’s still only 3 out of 10,000.

    If you try to decide what “nearly” means, it’s maybe an average of 2 to 2.5 out of 10,000 a year.

    Nationally suicide is something like 1.3 out of 10,000 a year and when it comes to statistics, the actual difference may not be statistically significant.

  14. - The problem - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:21 pm:

    Correct me if I am wrong but, if you seek help, you will lose your FOID card.
    No FOID = No Job

  15. - Ted - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    A state law was passed a year or two ago to stop the practice of stripping officers of their right to carry if they check themselves into a mental health or substance abuse program. Based on this story, it looks like that fact is unknown to the rank and file. C’mon, CPD. What kind of Human Resources program are you running?

  16. - NoGifts - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    Inpatient treatment for stress and depression is exceedingly rare and reserved for very ill people. It might be correct that the card is lost in these cases - police work may be an unsuitable career. The department should make an effort to find other work within the department for these individuals. Also, health insurance covers mental health issues, so the number of EAP counselors isn’t the issue IMO.

  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    I am a disabled police officer and the human resources with the CPD is a disater. The job in itself is difficult and we see many things that cause problems in other aspects of life and once a person goes for help then the tables turn against officers. The department needs to make major changes in Human Resources because officers deserve some dignity and not discipline when it comes to depression. The job has two fronts. Survival on the street and survival of the politics. At he end it always is politics over safety. To this day I struggle and the job has isloated me from my family and friends. Sometimes no where to go and time becomes another enemy.i did the job because it is a vocation and I knew I had the god gifts to serve. Today I have no pay no insurance and no family. God Bless Chicago and all the officers who serve the public.

  18. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:13 pm:

    –The CPD’s Employee Assistance Program, which provides mental health services to 13,500 police officers and staff, has only three full-time counselors. The Los Angeles PD, the next-largest department in the U.S., has a staff of 11 clinicians for less than 10,000 sworn officers.–

    The DOJ report also knocked the city for “severely deficient training” of officers that led to a pattern of excessive force.

    See a common thread? No training. No mental health support. It’s a brutally tough job; you have to give officers the right tools to do it.

    But to Daley/Emanuel, if it’s not good for a photo-op, it might as well not exist. Just muddle through on the cheap and spin like crazy — or cover up — when it goes bad.

    You’re not “backing the Blue” by slamming Black Lives Matter or day-dreaming about unconstitutional stop-and-frisk.

    You can back them by insisting they have the right tools to do their jobs. And that means training and support.

  19. - Payback - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:26 pm:

    I had extensive course work in police selection, organization, psychology, etc. and got to see the actual test results for police recruits on the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.) At the time the MMPI was the most comprehensive pysch test out there, and almost every police recruit in America would take the MMPI before hire.

    The results,(which never seem to be widely reported) are shocking. Police as a subset of the American public showed much higher rates of suicide, divorce, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and depression. As a group police recruits in general show vastly higher indicators of deviancy than the average in every category tested.

    Re. C.P.D. not recognizing and treating officers that need help, a couple of things:

    1) A macho, male-dominated culture that frowns on showing “feelings” as weakness is not conducive to helping those that need and/or want help.

    2) The vast majority of psychological testing and review is conducted pre-hiring, and never done again.

    Do what the military does for those in high-stress assignments such as Navy Seals, Delta Force, etc.: require regular psychological testing and review for all officers, at least every five years. Make it mandatory for those involved in shooting incidents, whether they want it or not.

    Professional psychologists or psychiatrists who conduct these officer reviews should be brought in from outside the police dept. so they are not subject to coercion from supervisory staff to rule on fitness one way or another. If the cops aren’t fit, take away their gun and give them another job within the department if possible.

    Those who have pain on the inside are likely to be those who externalize their pain and lash out at others. As taxpayers we should all be involved in these discussions since cops can at times kill people on the spot without trial. This is one area where I would be willing to pay more taxes if those resources could be put into the right areas to help those officers who need help.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    I posted earlier and this should of been a part of the posting for reference. Not only when you do the job correctly they then throw you in the mud and discount your character and creditability in a attempt to make you come off as a bad person. It breaks my heart because I did my job and believed in the work and mission to serve. With the job I lost my family , my health, money, and creditability. When I tell people my pain and the things I can no longer do, they dont want to hear or acknowledge because if they acknowledge then they can no longer claim they did not know.
    At my last pension board hearing they ripped me to shreds and grilled me on what my father did for work. They make you feel like total scum and like a bad person. I would be more then willing to also give people the transcript.

  21. - Menard County - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    God bless the police officers of Chicago and elsewhere. And to Anon: this is obviously an issue beyond your understanding. You should look at the rate of criminal activity among police officers in this country compared to lawyers, professors, legislators, reporters, or any other profession. You’ll be surprised…

  22. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    Clearly CPD needs change. I cannot tell from the narrative and the discussion here just how bad the suicide problem is.

    For reference, my son’s 800 man Marine battalion lost 20 men during their deployment to Afghanistan. Word on the battalion grapevine is that twice that number have committed suicide in the 8 years since they returned.

    CPD should reach out to the military as well as other police departments to help develop action plans. Then they need to act. For the $5 million they paid to try to hush up the Laquon McDonald video, they could buy lots of support services.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Adventures in data governing
* Higher ed group to continue working this summer
* State Senate candidate once dressed up in blackface for Halloween
* Brady says GOP leveraged balanced budget from nervous Dems
* Politifact rates Rauner Legionnaires' claim 'False'
* Former 'Chicago Tonight' host Elizabeth Brackett has died
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






* Illinois Budget Bill Makes Few Tax Changes exce.....
* Governor considering medical marijuana bill for.....
* Monday, June 18, 2018..
* Local hospital to spend $2.5M on improvements, .....
* Trending News Today: NIH Ends Study Evaluating .....
* State Journal-Register: Illinois pharmacies pus.....
* Rauner's Legionnaires' claim misses the.....
* Push To Bridge Gender Wage Gap Continues..
* Morning Spin: Emanuel tops $9.5M in fundraising.....
* Fact-check: Rauner's Legionnaires' weat.....

* Mother of man fatally shot by central Illinois police sues
* Cleanup of massive central Illinois rock slide begins
* Midwestern states endure flash flooding, heat wave
* New organization that honors black firefighters to open
* Rauner names curator for newly remodeled governor's mansion
* William Shatner captains bitcoin mining farm in Illinois
* Peoria man killed in auto race in Canada
* Plan would turn old Illinois library into craft distillery
* Chicago is in for a dangerously hot day
* EXCHANGE: Community reacts after college announces closing

* Rauner to consider allowing medical cannabis for opioid patients
* Bipartisan work yields gun bills, fate rests with Rauner
* Rauner names Justin Blandford curator of Governor's Mansion
* Rauner names Williamsville woman interim HFS director
* Both Rauner and Pritzker have donated to Mansion renovations
* Both candidates for governor have donated to Mansion renovations
* Illiopolis boy helps push bill to cover hearing aids for kids
* Under the Dome Podcast: AFSCME lawsuits everywhere, #MeToo fallout, governor ad war
* Rauner says more ads coming like one featuring other Republican governors
* Madigan aide ousted in harassment scandal responds to accuser

* Show us your office!
* PowerShares keeps growing—even as name prepares to die
* 4 ways a U.S.-China trade war could play out
* Roskam's intriguing immigration move
* Apple partners with Oprah for original content push

* Woman missing from South Shore since May found
* Because I’m pro-life, I am appalled to see children taken from parents at border
* FIFA charges Mexico after fans use anti-gay slur during game against Germany
* World Cup’s only black coach says soccer needs more diversity
* Apple aims to deliver pinpoint locations of iPhones when calling 911
* Mexico faces FIFA discipline after fans chant anti-gay slurs at World Cup
* Concealed carry permit holder scares off home invasion suspect in Riverside
* No definitive ruling from Supreme Court on partisan redistricting
* Homeland Security chief says no apology for separating families
* Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian

* Summer steak out — 30 days of Chicago's best steaks, steakhouses and steak dishes
* Glencoe school district approves nearly $200K for grade school security enhancements
* Justices: No definitive ruling on partisan districts
* Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem
* Strong earthquake near Osaka, Japan, kills 4, knocks over walls
* White House insists Democrats to blame for family separations, even as some in GOP urge Trump to reverse course
* Trades within the lottery could jolt an already intriguing NBA draft this week
* FIFA opens disciplinary proceedings vs. Mexico after fans chant anti-gay slur
* With controversial apartment proposal behind them, Arlington Heights trustees weigh future of undeveloped downtown area
* Dozens of baby seagulls found dead on South Loop street; wildlife experts suspect they were tossed from rooftop

» Push To Bridge Gender Wage Gap Continues
» Dad-isms: Jokes and Lessons Our Fathers Taught Us
» Parkland Survivors Join Chicago Youth, Celebrities At St. Sabina's Peace March
» Why Don’t Chicago Beaches Have A Poop Threshold?
» Furniture From Closed CPS Schools Ends Up In Surprising Places
» Students Go Back In Time To Record On Machine That Democratized Music
» State Week: AFSCME Contract; Abortion Court Fight; Former Madigan Staffer Responds To Accusations
» Durbin OKs State Senator McCarter for Kenya Ambassadorship
» Durbin Backs State Senator McCarter for Kenya Ambassadorship
» WBEZ’s Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: June 15, 2018

* Rauner to consider allowing medical cannabis for opioid patients
* George Will: Congress suffers arthritic knees from genuflecting to presidential power
* Bipartisan work yields gun bills, fate rests with Rauner
* Bernard Schoenburg: Gov. Rauner owns Sangamon farmland — with somebody
* Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner owns Sangamon farmland — with somebody
* Angie Muhs: New reporter will focus on local business coverage
* Our View: City should not put competing township referendum on ballot
* Faith Coalition for the Common Good: Leaders impact lives of homeless
* Statehouse Insider: Illinois second to Missouri again
* Thom Dammrich: The Modern Fish Act — Good for Illinois

* O'Fallon student among five valedictorians at Althoff
* Coroner releases ID of Illinois man killed in ATV crash
* Photo surfaces of GOP state Senate candidate Patton in blackface
* State senate candidate wore blackface for Halloween
* June 20 Illinois basketball chat
* Best of the week: 9 things to do this week
* Local hospital to spend $2.5M on improvements, including a new sleep clinic
* Touchette Regional Hospital renovations
* Road closure: Morris Ave. work closes northbound lane
* Hang in there! Relief from heat is on the way

* Craig Ferguson, Second City coming to Paramount Theatre
* Japan team at World Cup troubled by earthquake, hotel alarm
* The Latest: Panama holding off Belgium in World Cup debut
* Merkel, allies avert collision for now in German migrant row
* Correction: US Open story

* Groundbreaking for Mercer County's new...
* Heller, Rosen tangle over who can stop Yuc...
* Historic Trail Status Proposed for Route 66
* Why Are Millions Paying Online Tax Prepara...
* Millions of Americans pay unnecessary tax ...
* Veterans Corner 6/18/18
* Pravin Varughese murder: Indian-American m...
* Congressmen aim to give Route 66 Historic ...
* Rep. Lipinski Holds Lockport Senior Fair
* Parkland survivors, local students support...

* Rebellious Resistance Guide: How to Fight ......
* Monday, June 18, 2018...
* Lvm Capital Management LTD Decreased Its B......
* Great West Life Assurance Company Has Uppe......
* Trump tweets Dems and GOP should get toget......

* Rebellious Resistance Guide: How to Fight ......
* The Democrats' Myopic Reaction to the ......
* Tammy Duckworth for Senate Tammy......
* Our view: GOP group spot on in recent Blag......
* "Senator Tammy Duckworth …&quo......

* Dangerous People Are Teaching Your Kids
* Talking is better than war.
* Don Hellison.
* 50% oppose sanctuary communities in new Rasmussen poll
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock
* Dress Coded: Rules And Punishment For Black Girls Abound
* Ives-led group of GOP lawmakers and candidates call for Madigan to resign
* Gov Rauner marches in Aurora's First Gay Pride Parade
* Elonorail
* Reader sold to group led by Chicago Crusader publisher Dorothy Leavell

* Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Cereal
* Illinois 89 Bridge in Spring Valley Opens to Traffic
* Gov. Rauner announces release of funding for Department of Agriculture programs
* Gov. Rauner, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti provide update on efforts to combat opioid epidemic

* The Logitech Craft keyboard’s giant button is a tactile dream
* Pokémon GO now lets you befriend other animal kidnappers
* YouTube Music launches in 12 more countries, including the UK and Canada
* [Deal] Save $100 on the Nebula Mars II Portable Projector
* vivo will launch the NEX A and NEX S in India in the second half of July
* Oppo Find X may have the biggest screen-to-body ratio yet (Updated June 18)
* Nvidia’s AI creates amazing slow motion video by ‘hallucinating’ missing frames

* Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox series preview
* Sox is singular: Will the White Sox win more 'without a ...
* In My Words: With new players, Getz gets it
* Chicago White Sox: Three predictions for second half of season
* Chicago White Sox drink to Budweiser deal
* White Sox Provide James Shields With No Run Support in Serie...
* PenCities White Sox continue rivalry with Reno

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller