Dion Boyd, who was promoted to the rank of deputy chief of criminal networks earlier this month, was found dead from a gunshot wound at the Homan Square police station on Chicago’s West Side, according to the Chicago Tribune. An autopsy conducted July 29 found that he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled his death a suicide.
“There is really no way to convey the magnitude of this loss,” Superintendent David Brown said at a press conference at which Boyd was commemorated, as cited by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Boyd’s death makes him the 10th Chicago police officer to die by suicide in two years. A Department of Justice review, conducted in 2017, found that the suicide rate at the Chicago Police Department was more than 60 percent higher than the national average of 18.1 law enforcement suicides per 100,000.
The review noted also that “more officers die of suicides than in the line of duty.”
Boyd, who served with the department for nearly three decades in roles that included tactical officer, undercover officer, and homicide detective was a “respected command staff member,” Brown added. The criminal networks department he was promoted to deals with investigations into narcotics and gang activity.
“Many lives will be forever changed from this moment on,” Brown said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “And Deputy Chief Boyd’s presence will be greatly missed. I ask you to keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.”
“The job of a Chicago police officer is not easy, particularly in a time where there is intensified stress,” Brown said at the press conference. “Every day, life can seem insurmountable at times for anyone. But for police officers, the stakes are even higher due to the tireless work they do to safeguard others.”
He said there’s “no shame in reaching out for help,” and urged staff members who may be feeling overwhelmed to seek professional assistance.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her condolences on Twitter, in which she also called on members of the force who are struggling with issues to seek counseling.
“We are truly at a loss of words by the death of Deputy Chief of Criminal Networks Dion Boyd,” she wrote.
“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.
“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.”