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Chicago's top cop addresses loss of three officers by suicide this month; "each of their losses is a tragedy"

Chicago Police Department addresses three recent officer suicides
Chicago Police Department addresses three recent officer suicides 02:15

CHICAGO (CBS) -- After two Chicago police officers and a sergeant have died from suicide this month alone, Police Supt. David Brown and other department leaders on Monday outlined what they're doing to make sure officers are getting the help they need.

Brown, a department chaplain, and the head of the department's Employee Assistance Program, described some of the programs available to officers to prevent this from happening again.

"Police work is tough work. I would argue it's been the most difficult time these last two-and-a-half years to be police officers in this country," Brown said.

Suicide in the law enforcement community is growing nationwide, including in Chicago.

On July 2, Officer Patricia Swank, 29, took her own life. According to a GoFundMe page, she leaves behind her 5-year-old son.

Days later, on July 15, a 42-year-old officer also took his own life. And on Sunday, we learned a 47-year-old police sergeant died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.

"Each of their losses is a tragedy that impacts a family, a department, and the city of Chicago," Brown said.

Monday morning, Brown and other CPD leaders talked about the programs available to help officers dealing with trauma; including faith-based counseling, peer support, and employee assistance programs for officers and their families.

"Our peer support program is made up of approximately 200 sworn volunteer members, who give their time, their resources, and their expertise to others in time of need," said Dr. Robert Sobo, director of the Employee Assistance Program at CPD.

Swank's family will speak with CBS 2 on Monday, and we'll have more on what they think can be done.

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