CHICAGO - A high-ranking member of the Chicago Police Department who was promoted earlier this month was found dead Tuesday morning after he apparently shot himself at the Homan Square police facility 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. 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.
Paramedics responded to the facility at 1011 S. Homan Ave. about 9:30 a.m. and found him unconscious, according to the Chicago Fire Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
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 as a tactical officer, undercover officer in narcotics, homicide detective and internal affairs officer, was sworn in as deputy chief of criminal networks on July 15, one of several promotions Brown has made.
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.”
Hundreds of officers were present outside the Cook County medical examiner’s office Tuesday afternoon as part of a procession for Boyd.
Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.