Chicago PD’s Halstead Exit Is Worse Than You Think

Chicago PD losing Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) is so much worse than initially perceived. Amidst the wait for the One Chicago franchise’s fall return, news broke out that Hank Voight’s (Jason Beghe) Intelligence team will be losing a member. As it turns out, Detective Jay Halstead will be departing the 21st District Precinct in Chicago PD season 10.

As one of the remaining original cast members in the police procedural coming to Chicago PD season 10, this was shocking news. Despite a series of character departures for various reasons, he remained loyal to Voight’s elite unit. Aside from this, the fact that he has just married his partner Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) opens up a lot of narrative opportunities to explore for the character. Beyond this, however, Halstead’s impending exit has a much bigger impact on Chicago PD that is often overlooked.


Chicago PD losing Halsted changes the show’s whole dynamic, because he has functioned as the moral compass of Intelligence. Voight is known for being a morally-flexible leader, meaning he tends to believe that the end justifies the means. He won’t think twice about using brute force, if it will result in his perceived justice. While most of his team members fully support him in this, Halstead tends to function as the voice of reason. The unit’s leader knows this well, so Voight doesn’t usually get Halstead involved with some of his off-the-books actions. Multiple times, Chicago PD has used Halstead to reel in his boss back to the light when he is veering too far down the dark path. Without him in Intelligence, there’s no one else who can do this as effectively as Halstead has done in the last several years. This is bad news for Voight and Intelligence as it could lead to more issues. While they have successfully evaded severe punishments for their past unethical actions, there could come a time that they wouldn’t be able to get away with some of their choices.

Halstead Is Chicago PD’s Biggest Loss Yet

Considering how long it has been on the air, the One Chicago police procedural isn’t new to cast shuffles. Over the years, it has lost several major characters. Sophia Bush’s Erin Lindsay left Chicago PD season 4, followed by the death of Alvin Olinski (Elias Koteas) and Antonio Dawson’s (Jon Seda) early retirement, respectively. Halstead is arguably Intelligence’s biggest loss yet, however. He has been functioning as Voight’s second-hand following Dawson abruptly left the force. While he’s relatively new to the job, he has been able to effectively hold Voight accountable. Since Lindsay’s transfer, however, he is the only one who can personally go up to his boss and ask the Intelligence boss about some of his questionable decisions. Despite all of this, Halstead remains very loyal. He was offered a few times to leave the team during its bleakest days, but he never did — even when his own career was threatened.

Both NBC and Soffer have been mum about the real reason for the actor’s Chicago PD exit. Based on what’s known about it, he won’t even be finishing season 10, as Halstead is set to leave Intelligence sometime in the fall. Whatever the case may be, viewers hope that One Chicago finds a way to cap off the character’s arc in the show and then give him the send-off that he deserves. From there, it’s anybody’s guess what Chicago PDwill look like without him.

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