“You’ve got basically one full day left to get down here and claim one million dollars.”
CHICAGO (CBS) — As the Chicago Police Department mourns another officer who took his life, a reitred CPD officer with more than 20 years on the force is speaking candidly about mental health and the high suicide rate within the department.
Retired Officer Ron Rufo fought back tears at times while talking about the problems officers face and the trouble some of them have seeking counseling.
He thinks the department needs to find a way to make them all understand it’s OK to ask for help.
“I get emotional with this,” he said.
It’s hard for retired Rufo to talk about some of the officers he counseled as a CPD peer support team member for more than two decades. All of them made a call that likely saved their lives.
“Reaching out for help and somebody to help them with their issues they may have,” Rufo said.
But what weighs on Rufo the most is the officers who don’t reach out and end up taking their lives.
“They’ve lost all hope not seeing that light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “We have over 300 peer support team members but rarely do we get called out as much as we should, that stigma of being a tough person, being strong, and never being the weak link. Would you want to work with a partner that seeking counseling?”
Rufo even wrote the book “Police Suicide: Is Police Culture Killing Our Officers?”
“I just felt like there was that elephant in the room, nobody wanted to talk about it,” he said.
Rufo says for some officers the long hours, pressures and demands of the job combined with what they see and do on a daily basis can be too much to process.
“You got a lot of cameras on you,” he said. “You’ve got a lot more people judging you with everything that you do. It’s difficult because a lot of officers keep their emotions to themselves. They don’t share.”
And Rufo says sometimes that can lead to relationship issues and other problems, which become overwhelming. Add to that easy access to a firearm, and it can be a deadly combination.
“A lot of it may have to do with drinking as well,” he said. “Sometimes alcohol might be involved, which is a depressant, and then you have your weapon on your side. It’s so easy. It’s so quick it takes its toll right then and there.”
With five officer suicides in 2018 and another on new year’s day this year, Rufo hopes the department will step up to help those who might find themselves in similar situations.
“We need to have more classes about emotional wellness,” he said.
Until that happens, Rufo has a simple, but powerful message for all officers: “It’s OK to get help. It really is.”
Rufo also wants officers to remember they can seek that help anonymously. Currently CPD has five counselors, but a spokesperson says they plan to add five more soon. That’s in addition to members of the clergy that officers can also reach out to.
Elias Pettersson scored his third goal of the night in overtime to lead the Vancouver Canucks past the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Wednesday night.
EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department is searching for a bank robbery suspect that stole from a US Bank Wednesday afternoon.
Deputies said the male suspect entered the US Bank at 1020 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills just before 2 p.m. Wednesday. The suspect reportedly demanded money and then left in an unknown direction.
Officials said the suspect is a white male adult, late 20’s, about 5’9″ tall with a thin build.
No threats were made to the employees during the robbery and deputies said the suspect did not use or show a firearm.
The sheriff’s department also provided a picture of a white sedan from a similar bank robbery a few months ago in Yuba City. Deputies have not linked the vehicle to the robbery Wednesday but said it may assist the public in identifying this suspect.
If you have any information on this person’s identification or which could lead to their identification or this robbery, please contact Deputy Macres at (530) 957-5227 or leave us a private message. X1379
Recent thefts in the town of Fort Macleod have RCMP sending out a warning to the public.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – If you want to visit Rocky Mountain National Park during the government shutdown, limited access is available if you’re willing to put up with a few inconveniences.
Limited gates are open. Obviously missing are the friendly rangers who usually collect the entrance fees. You can go as far as the road will take you, but now that’s very far.
Once you reach the cones you’re on your own. Park visitors are permitted to hike as far as they want. Without the normal crowds the park seems like a winter wonderland.
On the other hand if nature calls in a different way, only some restrooms are open. Those in charge of cleaning them are not working. CBS4 could tell by the toilet paper on the floors. The reports of human feces at other national parks did not appear to be the case here though.
The Leubers family came to the park from Nebraska. They planned their trip and made their reservations around Thanksgiving. They were not pleased to find the park primarily closed.
“It’s sad. It’s sad to see the government in dysfunction, that’s the sad part to me, ” said Mike Leubers.
Visitor centers are shut. Garbage cans are now sealed with tarps placed over them and signs that read, “Due to the government shut down, sanitation services are suspended.”
Not all employees have been told to stay home. One ranger was busy telling people to move their cars. When CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked her why she was working she replied, “I’m an essential employee.”
The government closure over a political battle regarding a wall to line the Mexican border with the U.S. doesn’t ban having fun at this national park gem. Children were sledding down hills and cross country skiers seemed to have the park all to themselves.
One park visitor Erin Jensen of Boulder sees the shutdown as having two sides.
“I feel bad for the government employees who don’t have a job right now, and I feel bad for my friends who are visiting from California, and I can’t take them up into the park,” she said.
For more information on the park during the shutdown people might turn to the park’s website, but those who update it aren’t working either.
ABC’s recent tradition of family-friendly half-hours continues with “Schooled,” a half-hour spinoff of period comedy “The Goldbergs” that moves character Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka) into adulthood, where she’s returning to her high school to teach music to a group of jaded ‘90s kids. The show’s action transpires, coincidentally or not, during a golden era for […]
PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — The driver of a pickup truck died in a fatal crash with a bus Wednesday afternoon in El Dorado County, CHP said.
CHP Placerville said the incident happened at approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday. Officers received a call about a collision on Pony Express Trail near Gilmore Road.
Officers said they believe a red pickup truck was driving recklessly on Pony Express Trail and crossed over the double yellow lines, colliding head-on with an El Dorado County Transit bus.
At this point in the investigation, CHP investigators are not sure why the truck crossed the double yellow lines.
As a result of the collision, the driver of the pickup truck sustained fatal injuries. The driver of the bus sustained minor injuries.
Both parties’ identities have not yet been released.
Any witnesses with information about the crash are encouraged to contact CHP Placerville at 530-622-1110 (8-5pm) or 916-861-1300 (24 hr).
“I think it’s people understanding it’s not just their safety, it’s the safety of other people on the road.”
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A fleet-footed hound that hails from West Africa is the latest dog in the American Kennel Club’s pack of recognized breeds.
The club announced Wednesday that the Azawakh, pronounced AHZ’-ah-wahk, became the 193rd breed in its roster. That means Azawakhs can now compete in many dog shows, though they’re not eligible for the prominent Westminster Kennel Club show until 2020.
The long-legged, smooth-coated Azawakh looks elegant but is no dainty dog. Traditionally a companion of nomads, the breed has long been a hunter and guardian in parts of the Sahara Desert and semi-arid Sahel region, including in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Azawakhs are known for running fast and being loyal to their owners, though sometimes aloof with strangers.
Breeds must count hundreds of dogs around the country to be recognized.