Many officers take a code of silence when they are sworn in. This code of silence refers to the reluctance to report other officers. There is another code of silence that is not talked about much. That is suicide.
Regine Perpignan is a police officer who recently committed suicide. Her brother, Roland, stated that incidents like this are avoidable. Regine committed suicide back in September using her own weapon. She had been on the police force for 26 years.
Regine’s mother, Marcelle, recently talked about the day that her daughter committed suicide. She stated that Regine went to work, and she had called to check on her. Marcelle never got an answer.
The family stated that Regine had been suffering from depression for quite some time. Some of her colleagues knew about the struggles with depression. She had been hospitalized several times for previous suicide attempts.
Regine’s coworkers stated that she did not really talk about her mental health struggles because she was afraid of losing her job. She was afraid to ask for help. Eddie Johnson is the Chicago Police Department Superintendent. He stated that the department feels like they failed.
Eddie stated that he and Regine worked together for several years, and he thinks about her often. Regine is the third Chicago police officer to commit suicide within the past few weeks. The department is determined to do something about this. They will be assigning therapist to every police officer starting next year.
Roland is hurt by the fact that his sister felt the need to suffer in silence. He stated that depression is a disease just like heart disease and diabetes. He also stated that if you do not take care of it, then it will kill you. Eddie wants all Chicago police officers to know that they will not be fired for seeking mental health treatment.