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Retired CPD officer takes own life in Chatham

The 29-year department veteran, who retired earlier this year, was found dead about 7:40 p.m. at his home in the 8300 block of South Wabash Avenue, authorities said.

A postal worker found a male toddler Oct. 21, 2019, wandering in South Shore.
A retired Chicago police officer was found dead in his home Sept. 21, 2019 in Chatham on the South Side.
Sun-Times file photo

A retired Chicago police officer took his own life at his Chatham home Saturday, officials said.

James Crawford, 61, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head about 7:40 p.m. at his home in the 8300 block of South Wabash Avenue, according to Chicago police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. An autopsy Sunday ruled his death a suicide.

Crawford, a 29-year veteran of the police force, served as a lieutenant with the police department until his retirement earlier this year, according to Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi and the Invisible Institute. He was based in the 5th District on the South Side when he retired.

Public records show Crawford was professionally licensed as a behavioral care counselor in March 2019.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family,” Guglielmi said.

Crawford is the second retired officer to take his life in Chatham this year, and his death comes just days after the apparent suicide of Officer Paul Escamilla at the Bunker Hill Forest Preserve.

At least four Chicago police officers have died by suicide in 2019.