CHICAGO (AP) — A high-ranking member of the Chicago Police Department who was promoted earlier this month was found dead after he apparently shot himself in a station on the city’s West Side, authorities said.
An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office on the remains of Deputy Chief Dion Boyd, whose body was found Tuesday morning. If the autopsy confirms that the 57-year-old Boyd fatally shot himself, he would become at least the ninth member of the department to die by suicide in the last two years.
Police Superintendent David Brown did not discuss the circumstances surrounding Boyd’s death. But the department confirmed that it believes Boyd fatally shot himself, and Brown made sure to reach out to officers and plead with them to seek help if they need it.
“There is no shame in reaching out for help,” Brown said during a press briefing during which he announced Boyd’s death. “Please, officers, please, stay humble, stay human, stay safe and stay well.”
Boyd, who had been with the department for 29 years, was sworn in as deputy chief of criminal networks on July 15, one of several promotions Brown has made.
During the course of his career, Boyd worked as an undercover officer in narcotics, homicide detective and internal affairs officer before moving into command ranks.
Boyd’s death is the latest blow to a police force that has seen more than its share of suicides. In a 2017 report about the department’s policing practices, the US. Justice Department reported that the suicide rate among officers in Chicago was 60 % higher than the national average of 18.1 per 100,000.
“To every officer, we want you to know that you are deserving of help and healing, and no one needs to struggle alone,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot wrote on Twitter while offering condolences to Boyd’s family. “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.”
Boyd’s body was taken from the Homan Square police office by ambulance in a procession that included a fleet of Chicago police vehicles to the medical examiner’s office, where dozens of officers had converged in a show of respect.