Toledo Police mourns the loss of one of its own to suicide

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo Police is mourning the loss of one of its own after leaders say an officer took his life.

According to a statement, officer Jeffrey Payne, 53, was found dead at his home Tuesday during a welfare check by Lucas County deputies. Officers called for the check after Payne didn't report to work as scheduled.

“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 Toledo Police Department in January 1997 and served in Field Operations for most of his career, according to a statement.

Leaders say Payne's death comes as an law enforcement across the country experience an upward trend in suicide. TPD has adopted training and support for officers who, by nature of the profession, experience a high incidence of traumatic events.

The Northwest Ohio Critical Incident Stress Management Team met with officers Tuesday to offer assistance. The investigation continues, but all indications show that Payne's death was a suicide.