Smith’s stepfather, Jeffrey Sacks, parent Smith from a very young age and said Smith was a family man who enjoyed boxing and was open about his battle with feeling. Smith was trying medicine but his family did not see the suicide coming.
“He was always a guy who are able to manage himself. I was always the little guy that couldn’t administer myself in a physical place, ” Sacks said. “If he moved into a physical place- just his attendance. The son seemed good in uniform, I’ll tell you that. He looked like a police officer. And he spoke well. And he wrote well.”
Sacks feels sorrow and concerns about Smith’s wife and child.
“Anger, guilt because what could I have do better to prevent that. And sorry. Because I know he is leaving a bit newborn to grow up all by himself without a papa. It will leave a huge breach in our family, ” Sacks said.
Ron Rufo is a retired police officer who wrote a volume on police suicides. He considers many officers internalize the worst part of their job.
“Mine was a little girl, a baby daughter who was shot in the eye. I still picture that to this day, ” Rufo said.
Rufo told Fox News that police are often afraid to get help for suspicion of being labeled soft–or worse, being committed and having their license to carry revoked.
“They’re preventing a lot inside what they investigate on a daily basis. Tragedy, critical incidents. It builds up and they don’t really speak to their significant other about it and it remains on exiting, ” Rufo said.
Rufo said the backlash on police officers is taking a toll.
He acknowledges there are bad policemen, even prejudiced policemen, that need to be weeded out. But general disrespect for police hurts morale.
“There are people who really don’t care if an officer gets hurt or killed, ” Rufo said.
Police in Chicago told Fox News that now, now more than ever, they drive under extreme pressure and suspicion being labeled prejudiced or being hit with a suit. And they do hesitate striving professional treatment.
“My thing is who is taking care of the police? We are first responders but who is responding to us? We need to focus on that and let’s facilitate our patrolmen when we are out there, ” Rufo said.
In response to Smith’s suicide, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced the force is going to beef up its hire support groups and is trying to raise awareness for law enforcement mental help.
“If an officer is thinking about this, should be considered the big picture. It leaves a major gap. Your lineage is going to have such a hard time to address it. It doesn’t benefit anybody. It surely doesn’t benefit the family, ” Sacks said. “The family is left with debt and fathers play such a major role in small children growing up.”
Read more: www.foxnews.com