Lt. Dion Boyd, who led the 2nd District police from July 2018 to February 2020, died by suicide on July 28 at the Homan Square facility, aged 57.
"I am extremely saddened to share with you today the loss of a respected member of our command staff to suicide," said Superintendent David O. Brown Tuesday to reporters. "I along with the entire Chicago Police Department grieve the loss of Deputy Chief Dion Boyd, a respected command staff member and 30-year veteran of the department."
"Every day, life can seem insurmountable at times for anyone, but for police officers the stakes are even higher due to the tireless work they do to safeguard others," Brown continued, urging colleagues to reach out to and support workmates. "Let's always remember to take care of ourselves and each other."
Boyd was born in Chicago in 1963, the son of a painter for the Chicago Housing Authority and a housewife. He grew up in the Morgan Park neighborhood.
A graduate of the Carver Area High School, now the Carver Military Academy, 13100 S. Doty Ave., and Western Illinois University, Boyd’s first job after college was with the municipal aviation department.
“I didn’t enjoy being confined in an office setting, so I joined the Chicago Police Department on July 30, 1990,” Boyd wrote in 2013. He later earned a master of business administration degree from St. Xavier University in the Mt. Greenwood neighborhood.
Boyd married in 1990 and leaves behind two sons. He credited his father and other male role models as the reason why he “didn’t fall victim to the stereotypes of young Black males.” He credited experiences involving family cohesion, good and bad, as those that most resulted in his character.
Cmdr. Joshua Wallace replaced Boyd on Feb. 16, when Boyd was promoted to lead Area 1 in a broader CPD restructuring. According to the Invisible Institute's Citizens Police Data Project, Boyd received 12 honorable mentions over his time with CPD, more than 63% of other police officers.
"I will just share this to the members of this department, of this city and specifically to the family members of Dion Boyd: Dion left people he loved here and colleagues who loved him as well," Brown said. "Please, officers, please: stay humble, stay human, stay safe and stay well."
Staff writer Christian Belanger contributed.
The all-hours National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-8255, and the Crisis Text Line is 741-741.