With three law enforcement officers shot in Chicago since Wednesday, many families struggle with trauma
CHICAGO (CBS) — The recent shootings of two Chicago Police officers have left some officers and their families reeling.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas took a closer look Monday at the special work being done to help first responders cope with trauma.
On Wednesday, June 1, police rushed to the scene after an CPD officer was shot while trying to make a traffic stop at 61st and Paulina streets in West Englewood. The officer, 27-year-old Fernanda Ballesteros – was released from the hospital Monday.
The very next day, investigators said a man shot not just a police dog, but a U.S. Marshal serving a warrant on Belmont Avenue between Laramie and Lockwood avenues in Belmont Cragin.
And just a few days later on Sunday afternoon, another Chicago Police officer was shot during a traffic stop near 69th and Sangamon streets in Englewood.
“it’s devastating,” said Dr. Carrie Steiner.
Steiner is a former Chicago Police officer who is now a psychologist focused on helping first responders cope with trauma.
“All of the Chicago Police clients that we have, have been discussing this — and are very concerned about their own safety,” Steiner said.
According to Chicago police data, more officers were shot or shot at in the last two years than the previous eight years combined. Last year, 76 officers were shot at – compared to 12 in 2015.
As police Supt. David Brown pointed out, that is an increase of more than 500 percent.
And so far this year, 25 officers have been shot or shot at.
“Their families have been impacted in ways that are hard to describe — the look in a family’s eyes when they show up at the hospital, not knowing whether their loved ones are going to survive,” Supt. Brown said at a news conference
Steiner to help clients cope, she often recommends self-care methods like spending time with family or finding ways to relax.
But she says finding that time has been even harder lately, with some officers having their days off canceled.
“Some of my clients have had to text their loved ones, saying, ‘I’m still OK, I’m still OK,'” Steiner said.
Steiner added that if someone is the spouse of a police officer and hears about three officers being shot in a period of a week, it can have a profound impact.
“What we see is a lot of family members wanting officers to quit, or to transfer to a department that is not as busy or, to reconsider this profession in and of itself,” Steiner said.
That is because they never want to hear the words, “officer shot,” about their loved one.