As public safety professionals we train, we prepare, we are well equipped, but sometimes none of these things matter. We have husbands, wives, children, mothers and fathers. We have dreams and goals and look forward to a long and peaceful retirement. But we cannot shrink from our duty. We see the best and worst of humankind. We confront despair and overwhelming challenges. But still we carry on.
It is difficult to fathom the strength, courage and commitment which propels us to go out the door each morning. Perhaps it is because while we face incredible difficulties we are also privileged to participate in some of society’s greatest moments — seeing good men and women stand up to those who would do them and their neighbors harm– people willing to take risks for each other.
Something we can never be ready for is the loss of one of our own to suicide. Yesterday, we were made aware of another Chicago Police officer who took their own life. The members of the Chicago Police Department are made up of extraordinary individuals tasked with an often thankless job. We felt it was important you know about this senseless loss – something none of us can not prepare for.
This is a reminder to watch out for your partner. The struggle we feel may take time to develop, and we are responsible to each other to help in a time of need.
One of the biggest factors that can contribute to someone who seeks to take their own life is not having a social group. As you look across at your fellow officers at roll-call know you belong to something special. You are important. You are loved. You are prayed for. You belong.
Thank you to all of you who serve.
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.
P.O.L.I.C.E. Suicide Foundation: 866.276.4615
Chicago Police Professional Counseling 24/7 (CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARANTEED): 312.743.0378
POLICE CHAPLAINS MINISTRY
Directing Chaplain, Fr. Dan Brandt (Catholic) (773) 550-2369 Email
Chaplain Bob Montelongo (Catholic) (773) 459-5089 Email
Chaplain Kimberly Lewis-Davis (United Methodist) (312) 771-6638 Email
Chaplain Joe Jackson (Non-Denominational Christian) (312) 771-6684 Email
Chaplain Rabbi Moshe Wolf (Jewish) (773) 463-4780 Email
Chaplain Hysni Selenica (Muslim) (312) 771-6692 Email
Photo credit: Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune