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High Police Suicide Rate Inspires Video Urging Officers To Get Help: WATCH

By Alisa Hauser | September 29, 2017 2:28pm | Updated on October 2, 2017 8:30am
 A police officer consoles another officer in this shot from a video made by the Chicago Police Department.
A police officer consoles another officer in this shot from a video made by the Chicago Police Department.
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Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — A new video offers a glimpse into the stresses facing Chicago police officers — and urges them to call for help if they’re feeling overwhelmed.

Posted on Thursday night to the Chicago Police Department Facebook page, the video has been viewed more than 9,200 times and is getting widely shared.

It describes various challenges facing officers on the street — a  woman is seen yelling, "Hey pig!" — and off the job — a woman portraying an officer's wife or partner says, "You're always at work. I can't do this by myself anymore."

Civil lawsuits, police-involved shootings, officers being shot and uncooperative suspects are represented. A woman screams about her child being shot.

It wraps up with a distraught officer being comforted by another and the words "Not All 10-1's Are Physical."

A 10-1 is an emergency call when the safety of an officer is threatened.

An officer who helped create the video said it was sparked by a statistic from the U.S. Justice Department report on the Police Department stating the rate of suicide on the force is drastically higher than the national average for police.

"The department wanted to tackle this issue ... o start a dialogue," the officer said. "It was needed to spark a conversation."

According to the Justice Department report, the Police Department rate officially is 22.7 suicides per 100,000 department members. The Fraternal Order of Police shared figures used in the report saying  the Police Department's suicide rate from 2013 to 2015 was 29.4 per 100,000.

The report concludes that "the CPD’s officer suicide rate is more than 60 percent higher than the national average of 18.1 law enforcement suicides per 100,000.”

The video encourages anyone who is in crisis or experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, to call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255),  or text 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor.

For Chicago police who need help, there is a confidential 24-hour employee assistance program reachable at 312-743-0378. Police chaplains also can be reached at 312-738-2831.