Cops, Firefighters More Likely to Die by Suicide Than in Line of Duty: Study

CPD posted a video Wednesday that tried to stress to Chicago officers that they are not alone.

Back in September, Sky 5 captured the police response when a veteran Chicago police officer committed suicide.

Since July, four CPD officers have taken their lives including the latest one on New Year’s Day.

“First responders, including police officers, are more likely to die by suicide than in line of duty,” said Miriam Hayman of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

The foundation conducted a nationwide study that resulted in that troubling conclusion.

The report found that first responders have a heightened risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.

“First responders are heroes," Hayman said. "They run towards danger everyday to save the lives of others but they are exposed to death and destruction on a daily basis."

Back in October, Illinois police officers and firefighters told tragic stories in front of a group of state legislators focused on addressing the mental health of first responders.

Chicago police chaplain, Rev. Dan Brandt, said at the time that access to mental health counselors has always been difficult.

“It would be great to make these resources easier to find and more accessible to people and state legislators seemed to be interested in doing just that," he said.

A separate Department of Justice report found that CPD's officer suicide rate is more than 60 percent higher than the national average.

It also found that the ratio of trained counselors available to CPD personnel is considerably less when compared to other departments of comparable size.

CPD posted a video Wednesday that tried to stress to Chicago officers that they are not alone.

“We need to support our first responders to prioritize their own mental health and well being," Hayman said.

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