Police Accountability2018-06-13T03:31:47+00:00

Police Accountability

Accountability is vital for the Chicago Police Department and the community.  

Accountability starts at the very top, and the Mayor sets the tone. It is about more than just sound bites; it is about leadership, trustworthiness, and partnership. 

Executive Summary

The Chicago Police Department needs the proper resources to keep our communities safe, and to ensure positive interactions. There is plenty of room to innovate and advance the police department to a point where accountability is intrinsic and community trust is restored. Emanuel has allowed for the police to be vilified, which has created a divide between communities and officers and directly lead to an increase in acts of violence throughout the City, impacting all who live here. Additionally under his watch training is woeful and lacking. Overwhelmed officers struggle to engage beyond service calls. Community members largely feel disconnected from the force. 

The public rightfully should hold the police to high standards. When police officers violate the rules, they break the public’s trust and lose credibility. Police officers are guardians of the community and I am going to ensure they have everything they need to embody that role.

Internal and external checks and balances are necessary to make sure officers carry out their duties properly and act with integrity. I am going to provide officers with the equipment and training to do their jobs effectively, and I will work with both the police and the citizens of Chicago to rebuild the partnership between the community and the men and women who are charged with serving and protecting. 

Accountability is about partnership with the community, working together, and acting with compassion for each other.

  • Self-accountability means being connected to and accountable to the people you serve
  • When trust is gained and the community sees that officer as a person they will call the police more, be more likely to talk to them, and to work in partnership to fight against criminal activities
  • How do we do this? We recruit more from the communities we serve (first responder academies)
  • We need to give police all of the tools they need, the training, and the strengthened relationships necessary to repair what’s been broken under Emanuel’s divisive tenure. 
  • We need  to find and recognize the examples of police officers going above and beyond to serve the community and ensure these acts the norm and the everyday expectation
  • We need officers and citizens to be connected, and to restore the relationships between neighborhoods and their police
  • Each district within CPD should be hosting events aimed at connecting with and serving the community (cops vs kids sporting events, winter coat drives, coaching kids teams, block club social events, etc.)
  • All officers (not just CAPS) should be afforded the opportunity to connect with the community through such events
  • It is the first line supervisor who truly sets the standard for department work ethic, for on-duty behavior
  • Even the best supervisor can’t properly account for the actions of 30 individual officers. We need to restore the 10 to 1 ratio
  • Supervisors need advanced and continual training and to have regular evaluations just like officers
  • CPD needs a strong, healthy work culture to operate effectively. Internal and external checks and balances are necessary to make sure officers carry out their duties properly and act with integrity
  • I will ensure a continuous cooperation between the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, Chicago Police Board and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to conduct thorough and autonomous investigations
  • I will remedy problems and have a zero tolerance for any culture of corruption, excessive force, or disrespect to the community
  • And if the unthinkable happens and a police shooting does occur, transparency is essential and will be the norm

Rahm’s Lies and Failures 

  • Has used CPD as a pawn for his own personal and political well-being, through his rhetoric and scapegoating, allowing for the police to be vilified, which has created a divide between communities and police
  • He purposely withholds the inconvenient truth. How could he not know the circumstances about the Laquan McDonald shooting? 
  • He heartlessly closed 12 city mental health centers, and he never cared to understand the consequences of such “budget cut” actions nor provide the CIT training officers need to properly manage conflicts involving mentally ill subjects (*see below)
  • Refusal to maintain and provide working equipment and non-lethal tools prior to major public incidents is prime example of his narrow mindset and lack of appropriate management
  • He has repeatedly failed to provide these crucial resources, while micromanaging the Chicago Police Department to the detriment of serving the community
  • He decimated the front line supervisor rank, and allowed officers to dwindle down to dangerously low levels
  • He has failed at all aspects of accountability to the community, and nothing is going to change as long as he is in charge because he will never embrace the personal responsibility necessary to be the leader this city needs

* When he flooded the streets of Chicago with individuals who desperately needed mental health care and had nowhere to turn, it became a police responsibility to help triage these folks. And again, Mayor Emanuel failed to provide the Chicago Police Department and 911 Operators with the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) and non-lethal equipment necessary to respond to such situations. 

As Alexa James, the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Chicago, stated in response to the Bettie Jones and Quintonio LeGreier shooting:  “If 911 was better equipped and had a system in place where they could decipher somebody experiencing a crisis, it would have been different….if they had labeled that call a mental health crisis instead of a domestic,  the outcome might have been different.”  

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