Dion Boyd, a 29-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, took his own life this week only 13 days after being promoted to deputy chief of criminal networks.
Boyd’s body was found July 28 at the Chicago Police Department’s Homan Square Detention Center, a detention block where claims of abuse have festered for years, according to CBS Chicago. The site has been the subject of journalistic investigations, federal lawsuits and, more recently, protests.
Within hours dozens of members of law enforcement created at motorcade procession to take the 57-year-old’s body to the medical examiner’s office.
A procession underway at Roosevelt and Kedzie for a Chicago cop found shot to death at Homan Square facility. pic.twitter.com/910Ehssvdl
— Manny Ramos (@_ManuelRamos_) July 28, 2020
Chicago’s Police Superintendent Announced the Suicide & Said ‘We Are Shocked’
Superintendent David Brown announced the officer’s suicide at Chicago Police Department headquarters Tuesday, saying, “There’s really no way to convey or express the magnitude of this loss. We are shocked and saddened with the loss, and it’s deeply felt by me, and the many colleagues and friends with whom Deputy Dion Boyd worked and mentored throughout his career. Many lives will be forever changed.”
Reasons for Boyd’s suicide are not clear, but Brown emphasized the strain that police feel every day, “particularly in a time where there is intensified stress. Everyday life can seem insurmountable at times for anyone. For police officers the stakes are even higher due to the tireless work they do to safeguard others.”
According to a 2019 article in Addiction Center, the Chicago Police Department had an “epidemic of police suicides this past year. Chicago’s police suicide rate was 60% higher than the national law enforcement average.”
“Boyd is the second officer to die by suicide this year,” according to WGN, and one of 10 CPD officers who have committed suicide since 2018.
Blue Help, an organization to support families of law enforcement officers who die by suicide, reports that in 2020 so far 98 officers have taken their own lives in the U.S. In 2019, the number to date was 228.
Boyd Had Worked in Several Departments in CPD & Was Said to Have Taken It Very Hard When 1 of His Officers Died in a Shoot-Out in 2018
Each day, #police officers say goodbye to their loved ones & go to work. The job can be dangerous. But they go to work. They serve our communities. Some, like Officer Samuel Jiminez of @Chicago_Police, make the ultimate sacrifice. Thank an Officer today. #OfficerDown pic.twitter.com/0DKrjPE6H0
— The OACP 🇨🇦 (@OACPOfficial) November 20, 2018
Boyd’s experience with CPD included serving as commander of the 2nd (Wentworth) District. He had also been a field lieutenant in the 5th (Calumet) District, a sergeant in Internal Affairs and part of Area Central’s Special Victims Unit, according to a CPD press release announcing his July promotion. According to an earlier release from January 2020, Boyd had been appointed as commander/executive officer of Area 1 effective in February 2020.
Boyd earned his master’s degree in business administration from Saint Xavier University, and he went to Boston University’s Senior Management Institute for Police, which is hosted by the Police Executive Research Forum, according to the release.
After nearly 30 years in law enforcement, Boyd struggled with the 2018 loss of Officer Samuel Jimenez, whom he commanded in the Wentworth District, according to a website called Law Officer.
Jimenez was killed by a gunman at a Bronzeville hospital in 2018. Jiminez was only on the force 18 months before being killed in a shootout with a man who went to Mercy Hosptial in Chicago and shot and killed his ex-fiancee, who was a doctor, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Boyd is survived by two grown sons, according to WGN.