Edgeville Buzz

Respected Area Police Officer Found Dead Of Suicide

Officer Paul Escamilla

A respected area police officer who has served the community for 17 years was found dead this week at an area forrest preserve from a self inflicted gun shot wound.

Officer Paul O. Escamilla, who was 40-years-old, was found unresponsive by Cook County sheriff’s police around 7 p.m on Monday in Bunker Hill Forest Preserve near Caldwell and Touhy while he was off-duty. The Cook County medical examiner’s office performed an autopsy and the death was ruled a suicide.

Escamilla worked as an officer for the 24th District which includes the northern part of the Edgewater neighborhood and he leaves behind a wife and three children. He most recently served as an aide to Commander Michelle Rubino and is remembered as a warm and loyal co-worker and a dedicated civil servant according to Ald. Harry Osterman.

“My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, and fellow officers,” said Osterman in an email. “As we enter the City Budget process in the coming month, I will continue to support increased funding for mental health and support services for our officers.”

Chicago, which has the highest suicide rate for police, has already seen three other officers commit suicide this year. In response to the situation, CPD started the “You Are Not Alone CPD” campaign last year. The program increased the number of counselors available to officers and created crucial support groups to help them deal with the job’s stress.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot put out a statement earlier this week in support of Escamilla’s service and to express concern for our first responders.

“I am heartsick as we mourn the passing of beloved Chicago Police Officer Paul Escamilla,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Our entire city offers our condolences to his wife, children, extended family, friends and CPD colleagues—and we mourn with them.”

If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, please take action and find help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255.

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