CPD employee found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at Dan Ryan Woods

The 55-year-old man worked as a detention aide in the Austin District on the West Side, according to sources and an alert from the Police Department.

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A Chicago police star on a wall at headquarters.

An employee of the Chicago Police Department was found dead Monday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

File

A civilian employee of the Chicago Police Department was found dead Monday in the Dan Ryan Woods Forest Preserve of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

The 55-year-old man was discovered around 7 a.m. at the forest preserve in the 8700 block of South Western Avenue, according to a spokesman for the Cook County sheriff’s office, which is investigating his death. He apparently shot himself.

An alert from CPD’s Crime Prevention and Information Center said he was found with gunshot wounds to his chest and lower back. The alert identified him as an employee of the Austin District on the West Side, and sources said he worked as a detention aide.

He hasn’t been identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The cause and manner of his death haven’t been released.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown alerted department members of his death in an email later Monday.

“Please keep the department member’s family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Brown wrote.

At least five sworn officers have died by suicide this year, prompting criticism of the department’s policy of routinely canceling days off. On Aug. 30, Brown announced changes aimed at giving officers more free time — just a day after the city’s Inspector General Deborah Witzburg issued a scathing report showing the department scheduled nearly 1,200 officers to work at least 11 straight days earlier this year.

Two days after Brown’s announcement, 51-year-old Jason Arends became the latest Chicago cop to apparently die by suicide. He also worked in the Austin District.

Anyone with information about Monday’s death should call sheriff’s police detectives at (708) 865-4896.

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