CHICAGO (CBS) – Purple bunting now hangs outside the 5th District Police Station where both officers fatally struck by a train worked.
It’s a sad scene that’s played out at the district over and over again.
The WGN Flag and Decorating Company had the grim task of hanging the purple bunting.
“As soon as I got the call on this one, no matter what was on the schedule, no matter what we had going, everything gets dropped,” company owner Carl Gus Porter III said. “This gets highest priority.”
It’s been “highest priority” for four Chicago Police officers who have died in the line of duty this year alone. And at the 5th District there have been five calls this year alone.
Two officers died by suicide, another of a heart attack, and now Officers Eduardo Marmolejo and Conrad Gary.
The department says it’s offering counseling and stress management.
“When you think about the tragedies that they’ve experienced throughout the course of this year, they’ve lost five officers, which is something we’ve never seen in my experience, in my years on the job on the Chicago Police Department,” Chief Barbara West said.
The 5th District is in Alderman Anthony Beale’s ward.
“To have something like this happen in any community is just heart-wrenching,” Beale said. “In one district. It’s tough. And this one – two at a time. You know, it’s tough.”
Tom McMahon worked in the 5th District and today lives a block away. He says he retired eight years ago. Tuesday afternoon he and others tied blue ribbons up and down 111th Street.
“They were so full of vim and vigor and they just wanted to be the police,” McMahon said. “And these two kids living out their dreams of being the police, lost their lives. We’re very close to our police officers here, and last night we lost two heroes.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a condolence call to the 5th District.
Ald. Beale said his office has had multiple calls from those who want to help the families of the two officers.