Chicago IL June 28, 2022 — The Chicago City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to extend line-of-duty death benefits to families of police officers and firefighters who die by suicide, CBS News reported on Wednesday.
The new measure will give families a year of salary and access to additional finances for healthcare, education and other expenses, the report said.
The city councilor behind the measure, Ald. Matt O’Shea, thanked his colleagues for their support.
“We’ve got to do more to remove the stigma; the stigma that I can reach out and ask for help. It’s not weakness,” O’Shea told CBS News. “What they experience day in and day out, pulling up to the scene of a horrific shooting, pulling up to the scene of a horrible fire, the violence and tragedy, the unbelievable grief, the death each and every shift of what they see.”
O’Shea noted that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Chicago cops after COVID-19, according to the report.
Julie Troglia, the wife of a CPD officer who died by suicide in 2021, was hoping the city would come through. Troglia lost her husband’s income and insurance 90 days after he died, which left her struggling as she raised their three daughters alone.
“Even though he didn’t die in the line of duty, he gave up his life every single day,” Troglia told CBS News.