TOLEDO (WTOL) - The Toledo Police Department lost one of their own to an apparent suicide Tuesday morning.
Officer Jeffrey Payne, 53, was found dead in his Lucas County home early in the morning during a welfare check from the Lucas Co. Sheriff’s Office. The welfare check was initiated after Payne failed to report to work as scheduled.
The investigation is ongoing, however, Toledo police state that all indications are that the death was a suicide.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of Officer Jeffrey Payne,” said Chief George Kral. “I want to express my condolences to Officer Payne’s family, friends, and colleagues. To all our officers and police family, please continue to be your brother and sister’s keeper by encouraging the practice of utilizing our Peer Support Team, EAP, and professional mental health resources.”
Payne was hired by the department on January 24, 1997. He served in field operations most of his career. Payne was also trained as a traffic accident re-constructionist and as a negotiator.
Toledo police say that Payne’s death comes as the nation continues to see an upward trend in law enforcement suicide. According to Blue H.E.L.P., Inc., 159 officers committed suicide last year.
The police department has adopted training and support for officers who experience many traumatic events.
On Tuesday, the Northwest Ohio Critical Incident Stress Management Team met met with officers to offer their help.