Chicago police deputy chief dies by apparent suicide in department facility

Dion Boyd, a deputy chief with the Chicago Police Department died of an apparent suicide inside a West Side CPD facility where his body was discovered Tuesday morning, officials said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted in response to the news:

We are truly at a loss of words by the death of Deputy Chief of Criminal Networks Dion Boyd, who passed away last night.

Deputy Chief Boyd called the Chicago Police Department his home for more than 30 years, proudly serving the South Side as Commander of Area 1 and the 2nd District, along with numerous other roles.

This devastating loss will not only be felt at every level of this Department, but in the countless communities and homes Deputy Chief Boyd touched during his decades-long service to our city.

Our prayers are with Deputy Chief Boyd’s two sons, along with his family, fellow officers, and many friends during this very painful time.

To every officer, we want you to know that you are deserving of help and healing, and no one needs to struggle alone.

This City has a fundamental obligation to support each of you, and over the coming weeks, we will be taking steps to bolster our support network so that every first responder understands that help is available.

WATCH:

USA Today reports a newly-promoted Chicago police officer and father of two has died by suicide, city officials said Tuesday – at least the second officer this year to die by suicide in a department that has long struggled with officers taking their own lives.

Deputy Chief of Criminal Networks Dion Boyd, 57, died last night, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Several news outlets reported that Boyd was found at the Homan Square police facility on the West Side Tuesday morning. Several news outlets in Chicago reported that Boyd died of a gunshot wound.

In a press conference Tuesday, Police Superintendent David Brown said he was “heartbroken” by Boyd’s death, which he referred to as a suicide.

Department spokesperson Anthony Spicuzza said Tuesday afternoon that the incident was being classified as a death investigation.

You Might Like

The Cook County medical examiner said an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

Boyd worked in the Chicago Police Department for more than 30 years, serving the city’s South Side as Commander of Area 1 and the 2nd District, along with numerous other roles, Lightfoot said. He had been sworn in as deputy chief of criminal networks on July 15.

“Deputy Chief Boyd was a man who commanded respect, and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends, particularly his two sons, who are now grieving over this unimaginable loss. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers,” Brown said in a statement.

In the afternoon press conference, Brown said that “the job of a Chicago police officer is not easy, especially at a time when there is intensified stress.”

Lightfoot encouraged any officer in need of help to reach out for assistance and said that, over the coming weeks, the city would be taking steps to bolster its support network for first responders.

“To every officer, we want you to know that you are deserving of help and healing, and no one needs to struggle alone,” Lightfoot said.

The city’s police union offered condolences to Boyd’s family in a statement Tuesday.

“Our Condolences go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Deputy Chief Dion Boyd. Please keep them in your prayers as they navigate their way through this terrible tragedy. Rest In Peace, Sir,” the union said.

A ‘significant problem’ in the Chicago Police Department

Boyd’s death by suicide is not the first in recent years in the Chicago Police Department. An off-duty police detective died in February, according to Lightfoot at the time. And last year, at least eight officers died by suicide, according to the Sun-Times.

Suicide is a “significant problem” in the CPD, a 2017 review of the agency by the Department of Justice found.The CPD’s officer suicide rate was more than 60% higher than the national average, the review found.

Police officers, in general, are at particularly high risk of alcohol abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, posttraumatic stress disorder and other challenges, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Nearly 1 in 4 officers has thoughts of suicide at some point in their life.