‘Chicago PD’ Fans Sound Off About Jesse Lee Soffer’s ‘Strange’ Exit From Series

by Caitlin Berard

Mere days after the announcement that Kelli Giddish would be leaving Law & Order: SVU after more than a decade with the series, another Dick Wolf production lost a major star. Jesse Lee Soffer revealed that Season 10 will be his last with Chicago PD.

“I want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support during the past 10 years,” Soffer told Variety. “And [I] want to express my deepest gratitude to Dick Wolf and everyone at Wolf Entertainment, Peter Jankowski, Matt Olmstead, Derek Haas, Michael Brandt, Rick Eid, Gwen Sigan, NBC, Universal Television, my fellow castmates, and our incredible crew.”

“To create this hour drama week after week has been a labor of love by everyone who touches the show,” he continued. “I will always be proud of my time as Det. Jay Halstead.”

Unsurprisingly, fans of the DWTU (Dick Wolf Television Universe) rarely watch just one of his nine series. The crossover between Law & Order and One Chicago fans is massive. As such, the same fans who were devastated to learn of Kelli Giddish’s exit from SVU were horrified to learn they had another crushing loss on the way.

‘Chicago PD’ Fans React to Shocking Departure

Like Giddish’s Detective Rollins, Soffer’s Detective Halstead is both a fan favorite and a staple of his series. In fact, Jesse Lee Soffer has been with Chicago PD from the very first episode. It’s no surprise, then, that social media absolutely exploded with fan reactions, many in disbelief that two longtime DWTU stars were on the way out.

One fan on the Chicago PD subreddit called the impending exit “strange,” adding, “why would they tell everyone beforehand? They did the same thing with Rollins on SVU. Generally in the past, they would wait until THE EPISODE the character left to break the news of their departure. It just doesn’t make much sense to me.”

“It seems suspicious,” another agreed. “Like if the Kelli stuff hadn’t come out a few days ago I wouldn’t have thought twice about Jesse leaving but now… I really think s–t’s going down at Wolf Entertainment.”

Some fans even questioned whether or not they would continue to watch Chicago PD without the beloved Detective Halstead. “Man, Jay is my favorite. Idk if I can watch after he goes,” one fan wrote.

Still others completely understood the decision, provided it was Jesse Lee Soffer’s to make. “Good for him,” an approving fan said. “He’s been a part of the Chicagoverse for over 9 years now. [It] will be the best thing for his career to have acting credits other than just being Jay Halstead. … It’s still to only play the same character for the rest of your career.”