Chicago police sergeant demands change after officer's suicide

After another officer's suicide this week, Chicago Police Sergeant Rick Nigro sent a letter to Supt. David Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot demanding change.

Video Transcript

LEAH HOPE: The sad news on Monday struck a chord with all CPD officers. The suicide of Officer James Daly was among similar tragic ends for other Chicago officers.

SGT. RICK NIGRO: But we're woefully unprepared to deal with the physical human stress that it takes upon us. And I can say to me personally, it is a physical feeling.

LEAH HOPE: Sergeant Rick Nigro knew Officer Daly and knows what he describes as the increasing stresses of the job, with 27 years at CPD.

SGT. RICK NIGRO: I am in roll call. I can see it on the faces of officers. I can see the physical effect that it has, and what it's doing to them, and it's difficult.

LEAH HOPE: Nigro took an unusual step of going public with his concerns. He wrote a letter to the mayor and police superintendent, critical of their responses after Daly's death, and pleading for support.

SGT. RICK NIGRO: I need to say, I don't think we're doing enough here. There's something clearly wrong.

LEAH HOPE: In a statement from Superintendent Brown, he acknowledges across the country, enough has not been done to promote officer mental wellness. He vows to change that here, and is adding staff and resources.

LEAH HOPE (VOICEOVER): A spokesperson for Mayor Lightfoot offered a statement saying in part, "We are committed to working with Superintendent Brown and his leadership team to ensure Chicago's police officers feel supported and valued, and that their mental health and well-being is reflected in every aspect of our decision making."

Nigro hopes to inspire more officers to speak up about the stresses and possible solutions.

SGT. RICK NIGRO: When you see these horrible things and you want to try and do something and realize, you know, you're one person. But it has to start with one person to do something.

LEAH HOPE (VOICEOVER): Nigro says he'll be part of a regular podcast to address this issue.