CHICAGO — An off-duty Chicago police officer died from an apparent suicide Thursday, the latest in a series of department officers taking their own lives.
The Medical Examiner’s Office identified the officer as 51-year-old Jason Arends.
“The Chicago Police Department has experienced the heartbreaking loss of an off-duty officer today to an apparent suicide,” the department announced. “We ask that the people of Chicago pray for this officer’s family, loved ones, and fellow officers as they mourn this devastating loss.”
Last week, City Council committee members held a hearing to address the mental health of first responders after a spike in suicides earlier this spring and summer.
In July, three Chicago police officers took their own lives.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, the free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now 988.