It's been an incredibly tough year for the Chicago Police Department.
Officer Eduardo Marmolejo and Officer Conrad Gary were the third and fourth officers to be killed in the line of duty this year. But there were other tragedies the department dealt with as well.
The 5th District where officer's Marmolejo and Gary worked has had it particularly rough. In addition to their deaths, the district has said farewell to three others they worked alongside.
“It's indescribable. I don't know how they summon the strength to do what they do. They're a very special breed of individuals,” said Joe Ahern.
As the head of the 100 Club of Chicago, Ahern has helped provide services to the families of the fallen. Making sure, above all, finances are not an issue as they grieve the loss of their hero.
This year alone, the 5th District has lost the two officers killed by the train, two others who took their own lives and a fifth who collapsed and died while working at the Calumet station.
“This goes without saying is going to be a difficult time for the CPD family. We as a city have to measure up and remind them they are part of our family,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
According to the Officer Down Memorial page, you have to go back almost a decade to find a year as devastating as 2018.
In 2010, the department buried five officers between February and November. Three were killed during robberies, one was shot and killed processing a burglary and the fifth was killed in a crash while responding to a call.
“They put their lives ahead of the rest of us. Unfortunately, they lost their lives,” said FOP President Kevin Graham.
Perhaps making things more painful were each death this year falls on a calendar. Commander Bauer died the day before Valentine's Day, Officer Jimenez three days before Thanksgiving, and now Officers Marmolejo and Gary a week before Christmas.
“As we go about our time with our families, let us remind ourselves there are others who cannot,” Mayor Emanuel said.
The department's leaders say they have stress management courses they're going to be putting members of the 5th District through because of the difficult year. They'll also be offering continued counseling as needed.