Chicago Tribune

Alarms sound after 6 suicides by Chicago cops over 8 months: 'It's definitely worrying and demands attention'

CHICAGO - A dozen or so police officers gather once every month in the basement of an office building and talk - about handling holidays with families, about nightmares so bad they are reluctant to share a bed at night.

Most of the officers were involved in a shooting while on duty, and here they share stories of what that has meant. Sometimes they cry.

"This is what trauma looks like," says Carrie Steiner, a former Chicago cop turned therapist who runs the counseling center. "This is what PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) looks like."

Responding to that trauma is now a top challenge for the Chicago Police Department, where alarms are sounding after six officers killed themselves over the last eight months.

Last week, after the most recent suicide, Superintendent Eddie Johnson convened a small meeting of command staff and told them officer wellness was now his priority. To keep neighborhoods safe, his officers need to be healthy, he told the group.

Johnson formed a task force to examine the department's mental health services, according to his spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, who was at the meeting.

And in a sign of changing attitudes, Johnson also sent his

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune2 min readSociety
Chicago Police Superintendent Will Skip President Trump's Speech To Police Chiefs
CHICAGO - Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson will be hosting the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in town next week, but he's going to skip President Donald Trump's speech, according to a spokesman. "While the superin
Chicago Tribune3 min read
Youngest Victim Of Last Weekend's Chicago Violence Had Been A Freshman At School Where Loss Is Nearly Constant. 'My Students Are Brave Warriors'
CHICAGO - Frank Looney was named after his father, and the two were so close that they shared the same nickname too: Frank Nitty. "He wanted to be like his pops," the elder Looney said. "We laughed every day, everything he said was funny." The 16-yea
Chicago Tribune6 min read
Nearly 6,000 Chicagoans To Get Letters This Holiday Season Saying Their Unpaid Medical Debt Is Forgiven. Learn About The Group Behind The Gifts
For Chicagoans struggling to make ends meet, the daily act of checking the mail can be anxiety-inducing. Aside from birthday cards and holiday letters, there isn't often much good news, but there never seems to be any shortage of bills or debt collec