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How Officer Kim Burgess Became a Chicago P.D. Favorite

Played by Marina Squerciati, Burgess is a tough, loyal officer who is passionate about her job. 

By Megan Lasher
Burgess Saves a Little Boy as They Escape from a Well | Chicago P.D. | NBC

Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) started her Chicago P.D. tenure as a patrol officer alongside Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins). Over the years, her passion for the job and toughness under pressure allowed her to work her way from the world of minor violations into a top seat in the Intelligence team. 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 12 premiere of Chicago P.D. Wednesday, September 25 at 10/9c on NBC

While she was earning her squad's respect, Burgess was also winning over the hearts of One Chicago fans with her strong moral compass, her complex romance with Officer Adam Ruzek (John Patrick Flueger), and her unlikely friendship with hardened Desk Sergeant Trudy Platt (Amy Morton)

Revisit all of the moments that made Burgess one of the most beloved and complex Chicago characters. 

Burgess Won Over Desk Sgt. Platt

Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) in a scene from Chicago P.D.

Burgess and Platt's friendship has been a beautiful centerpiece of the Chicago P.D. web. In Season 2, Episode 9 ("Called in Dead") Burgess got shot while on a house call. The next episode ("Shouldn't Have Been Alone") showed the squad investigating the house, as they realized there were traps set up that would have hurt anyone entering, so clearly there was more to the story. 

As the investigation continued, Burgess recovered from her wounds with Platt and Ruzek by her side, solidifying their bond. "Burgess, next time, a little tip from a superior: Duck," Platt joked, referring to Burgess's head wound. "Great advice, Sarge," Burgess said from her hospital bed.  

Burgess Earned Her Spot with Intelligence

Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) in a scene from Chicago P.D.

After four seasons of patrolling, Burgess finally got her chance to move up in the rankings. Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) had announced that he accepted an investigator role and Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) immediately looked to Burgess to fill his spot. 

In Season 4, Episode 8 ("A Shot Heard Round the World"), Voight approached Burgess at Molly's—the bar where the squad often hangs out—to deliver the good news. "I got a spot open at Intelligence," he said. 

"Yes!" Burgess immediately replied. "I hoped that's where you were going with that."

Voight smiled and said, "I'll see you upstairs Monday morning," leaving Burgess excited and ready for her next adventure.

Burgess Put Her Life on the Line for Her Sister

Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas) and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) in a scene from Chicago P.D.

In Season 4 Episode 19 ("Last Minute Resistance"), Burgess woke up to find her sister Nicole (Jules Willcox) missing and, shortly thereafter, got a call of Nicole saying, "Help me." Burgess found her sister crying on a city bench; Nicole explained that she had been raped. 

What followed was a true testament to Burgess's unstoppable loyalty. Nothing could get in the way of her pursuing her sister's attacker, and the episode showed her first interviewing Nicole in the hospital and then charging forward with the smallest amount of information: Nicole had said that there were "sparks in the sky" and "balloons." But with Burgess's incredible detective skills, the squad was able to locate the perpetrator. 

Burgess Rejected Ruzek's Marriage Proposal

The Burzek romance is the definition of complicated and, while rejecting a proposal might not sound so great, Burgess was sticking to her guns. The couple had already called off an engagement in Season 3 when Burgess caught onto Ruzek's commitment issues, and Ruzek was only proposing because Burgess was pregnant with their baby. 

In Season 7 Episode 11 ("43rd and Normal"), Ruzek said simply, "I think we should get married." He added, "I knew I screwed up last time, but things are different now." 

"I think it's a really bad idea," Burgess said. "Come on, I don't want to get married right now. And you don't either, you're just scared and trying to do the right thing." This further proved her ability to see the reality of each situation, a quality that made Burgess a great officer, friend, and partner. 

Burgess Took on the Role of Mother 

In Season 8, Burgess and Ruzek found a lost child whose entire family had been murdered. Burgess's caring instincts took over and she became attached to the girl, Makayla (Ramona Edith Williams), eventually adopting her. This kickstarted an ongoing storyline in which "Burzek" teamed up to co-parent the child. 

A year later, in Season 9, Episode 15 ("Gone"), Burgess's mothering instincts skyrocketed after Makayla was kidnapped. Burgess has just fought for legal guardianship of Makayla in court and won, nut them came home to find that she was missing. "Somebody took her, Adam," Burgess screamed. 

They both fought hard for her, and Burgess had to talk Ruzek down from his guilt about the situation. "We can get her back. You and me, we can get her back," she said to him. Her predication came true, and they were able to reunite with Makayla—but only after Burgess navigated an intense ransom request and messy trail. 

Burgess's Battle with Post-Traumatic Stress 

Burgess's time on the force has been filled with intense, violent cases, but none stuck with her quite like her near-death experience in Season 8. In the season's finale episode ("The Other Side"), Burgess was abducted, shot, and left for dead by drug ring leader Roy Walton. 

Ruzek found her gun in the middle of the street and followed a trail of her things to try to find her, calling on the rest of the team to help locate his missing partner. The squad was ultimately able to locate Burgess, but not before Burgess had to fight Walton for her life and deal with multiple major blows and a gunshot wound. 

The trauma from this Season 8 incident followed Burgess, coming to a head in Season 10, Episode 14 ("Trapped"). In the beginning of the episode, Burgess heard a loud bang, which triggered intense flashbacks to her traumatic incident. Ruzek talked her down from the stressful moment, and Burgess sought help from a therapist, who talked to her about post-traumatic stress. 

Burgess on Chicago PD

In therapy, she denied that the incident impacted her. "That was six hours of my life and I have had many hours since then, and I'm okay," she said, while fighting flashbacks.

Later, in Episode 17 ("Out of the Depths"), she explored therapy even more, trying to meditation, breathing exercises, and exposure therapy. 

Burgess's recovery experience showed her commitment to getting better, and also painted a relatable picture of how post-traumatic stress can look, particularly with her resistance to acknowledging its true impact. "I know I need to be here, I'm doing the work. But maybe my whole life doesn't have to be colored by something that happened to me a year ago," she told her therapist. 

Watch Chicago P.D. on NBC Wednesdays at 10/9c and next day on Peacock.