As Chicago cops were struggling with the loss of a colleague who fatally shot himself Monday, another officer died of a suicide Friday afternoon — deepening a crisis of suicides in the department, officials said.
Officer Jeffrey Troglia, 38, shot himself in the basement of his Mount Greenwood home on the Southwest Side, sources said.
Troglia worked in the department’s gang investigations unit. He joined the force in 2006.
“It is with deep sadness that for the second time this week, I must share the difficult news of the death of one of our own in what appears to be a suicide,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said in a statement.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the officer’s family and friends, who are now grieving over this unimaginable tragedy,” Brown added.
“This job is not easy and is more difficult than ever. To the men and women of CPD: I know that it’s hard to take care of yourself and reach out. And I hear that, and know we need to do more.”
An autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the suicide Saturday, saying Troglia died of a gunshot wound to the head.
As word of the death spread, dozens of Chicago police officers showed up outside the medical examiner’s office, 2121 W. Harrison St. The arriving officers embraced before lining up on Harrison Street, waiting to pay their respects.
About 9:30 p.m., the flashing lights of police cars colored the night sky as a mile-long procession escorted the ambulance carrying the officer’s body to the medical examiner’s office.
It was the second such procession in less than a week. Early Monday, another officer, James Daly, was found dead of a gunshot in the men’s locker room of the Town Hall police station at 850 W. Addison. Daly, 47, told colleagues he was planning to retire even though he was notified two weeks before he died that he needed to be 50 to qualify for a pension, officials said.
At least 10 Chicago police officers have committed suicide since 2018, including Deputy Chief Dion Boyd, who was found dead of a gunshot wound last July in the Homan Square police facility on the West Side.
“Unfortunately, in recent memory, the Department suffered through other similar losses of life, but this time must be different. These wrenching tragedies must be taken as a call to action,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Our officers and other first responders are hurting and we simply must do more for these City servants who are sacrificing their mental health and their lives for our safety.”
One officer who worked with the officer who died Friday said he thinks morale in the department is the lowest he’s seen in his career.
A 2017 Justice Department report found the department’s suicide rate was 60% higher than the nationwide average for officers.
Chicago police officials say they’ve bolstered their employee assistance program and earlier this week, Brown said he was asking NAMI Chicago, a mental-health advocacy group, to create a comprehensive “officer wellness strategy” in light of the suicides.
John Catanzara, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said officers who need to talk through problems can come to the union hall for help.
“Don’t suffer in silence,” Catanzara said, adding that the FOP is going to propose to the city that the union take over the management of the employee assistance program to make it more welcoming to officers.