Chicago Police Officer Takes His Own Life, Top Cop Says

Chicago Police Officer Takes His Own Life, Top Cop Says

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CHICAGO, IL — An off-duty Chicago police officer was found dead on the Southwest Side Wednesday morning. Police said the officer apparently took his own life.

If the Medical Examiner’s office rules the officer’s death a suicide, he would be the third Chicago officer to take their own life this year. The officer, who was identified as 24-year-old Christian Furczon, was found near Hale Elementary School in the 6100 block of South Melvina Avenue, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Furczon was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:35 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. A later autopsy will determine the cause and manner of death.

Police Supt. David Brown said in a statement the department lost the police officer to “an apparent suicide.”

“Being a police officer is not an easy job, and our officers carry the weight of the world on their shoulders,” Brown said. “They put their lives on the line for the people of Chicago, all while balancing their daily lives and taking care of their families. At the end of the day, these police officers are only human. It’s so important now, more than ever, to remember that.”

After two Chicago officers took their own lives in early March, the department hired a senior wellness adviser to promote mental health awareness on the force.

Brown wrote to rank-and-file members of the police force on Wednesday, reminding them of the department’s programs.

“We know you are tired,” he wrote in an internal memo obtained by Patch from 19th Ward News. “While there is more to be done to strengthen officer wellness, I want to remind you there are Department resources available, in addition to your personal support systems.”

Board members from the Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing CPD officers not in leadership or captain roles, issued a vote of no-confidence for Supt. Brown in May, citing burnout due to long hours and lack of consideration for police families.

A 2017 Justice Department report found the Chicago police department’s suicide rate was 60 percent higher than the nationwide average for officers.

Anyone struggling with mental health can get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, visiting this website, or texting HOME to 741741.

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