As a long line of squad cars escorted the body of Chicago Police Deputy Chief Dion Boyd to the Medical Examiner’s office Tuesday, Dr. Carrie Steiner reflected on a scene that she has seen too many times in recent years.
“Not again,” she recalled saying.
This was Steiner’s first thought upon hearing of another Chicago police officer taking his own life this week. Boyd, a 30-year veteran of the force, had just been promoted two weeks ago to the role of Deputy Chief of Criminal Networks, but he apparently took his own life this week.
“There is no way to convey the magnitude of this loss,” said Superintendent David Brown. “Many lives will be changed and his presence will be greatly missed.”
Steiner, a former CPD officer, is a licensed clinical psychologist, and she says she’s received an increase in calls from police officers struggling with the mounting pressures that they face on a daily basis.
“Officers are feeling totally overwhelmed at work, so when they come home they want that soft place to land, but there is still life happening,” she explained.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted out her condolences, adding the city will expand its mental health resources for officers.
Steiner believes those resources need to be made a priority by city officials.
“They are missing that mental health aspect, that if you having officers work 12-hour days, how is that going to be helpful?,” she asked. “So we have to find some balance of officer wellness in all of these situations.”
There are several resources currently available to CPD officers who are seeking help:
CPD Employee Assistance Program (312) 743-0378
CPD Chaplains Ministry (312) 746-8458
Officers who want to reach out to Dr. Steiner can also do so by calling (630) 909-9094, or by emailing her at email@example.com.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can also be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255