CPD announces fitness facility upgrades, Supt. Brown gives mental health program update

CHICAGO — When it comes to the Chicago police Department and keeping officers fit, workspaces at each of the 22 Districts, headquarters and academy are about to get a makeover.

With current CPD workout equipment being about 20 years old, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and a corporate sponsor decided it was time to get some new gear.

“With our partners at ABT Electronics,” said Phil Cline, from the CPMF. “We estimate our commitment to this project will be over $400,000-worth of brand-new equipment that will go into every Chicago police fitness facility.”

However — during the announcement at a press conference Tuesday — CPD Superintendent David Brown was also asked about mental health services for police officers. Earlier this month, WGN Investigates put together a story about veteran police officer Sara Hecker’s months-long ordeal to get mental health help after sustaining a serious knee injury on the job.

Brown chose not to speak directly about Hecker’s situation, but he did say there are now 16 clinicians employed by CPD and he is hoping that five more will be hired by Jan. 1.

“There should be no reserve or concern about speaking to a professional or peer if you’re struggling,” Brown said. “We really want to give a voice [to officers].”