Chicago police’s chief of constitutional policing and reform spoke Tuesday at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.
Angel Novalez spoke at the committee’s hearing on “Law Enforcement Officer Safety: Protecting Those Who Protect and Serve.” Novalez said policing is a dangerous job and its emotional toll on officers cannot be underestimated.
Two Chicago police officers and one sergeant died by suicide within a month this year.
Novalez also said Chicago police officers have been shot at 36 times this year, with seven of those hit by gunfire. Novalez noted the upcoming anniversary of the death of Officer Ella French, who was fatally shot in August during an on-duty traffic stop.
French’s partner, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., was also shot during the stop and sustained lasting injuries, Novalez said.
Novalez said he was also shot early in his career while responding to a call of a woman crying for help.
“The injuries sustained from this event remain with me today professionally, physically and in the private corners of my mind,” Novalez said. “I still struggle from my wounds, as many officers around the country are struggling from the injuries they have sustained and the traumatic human experiences they witness every single day on the job. They do this while trying to balance the realities of this noble profession with their everyday lives. You can’t exaggerate the impact that our experiences with crime and violence have on us.”