The private screening committee has begun direct interviews with Chicago police superintendent candidates. We have started direct interviews with David Brown wouldn’t allow it.
“They were very clear that David Brown would not allow access to membership rights. were ignored,” Police Fraternity president John Catanzara told members in a YouTube video this week.
Cattanzara noted that the FOP held a vote of no confidence in Mr Brown more than two years ago, saying, “Perhaps they want police officers to know how bad a boss Mr David Brown actually is to this committee. I guess he didn’t want to tell me,” he said.
Brown did not respond to a call for comment. The day after Mr. Lightfoot lost the mayoral race, he resigned and returned to Dallas, where he had previously served as police chief.
Anthony Driver, chairman of the Community Public Safety Responsibility Commission, declined to speculate as to why Brown “didn’t want us to talk to or ride with a regular police officer.” The driver only said it was in the way.
“We are a watchdog. …It is very difficult to be a watchdog if you are not allowed to build relationships with the people you are watching,” he said.
“That’s also unfair. How can we prevent the voices of the entire group from being heard? Early on they were put in a position where they were immediately seen as enemies.”
Of the 53 people vying to replace Mr. Brown permanently, 32 have past or current ties to the Chicago Police Department.
Driver said face-to-face interviews with leading candidates have begun and the committee is “to meet or exceed” the July 14 deadline to present the names of three finalists to Mayor Brandon Johnson. We are making good progress,” he said, adding that the investigation could be completed within a maximum of 50% of the budget.
Driver embarks on an interview armed with the feedback he’s been seeking for years from a regular police officer.
He listened to officials’ concerns for 90 minutes at last week’s FOP members’ meeting, then stayed there for a “Taste of the FOP” event before continuing to listen on the sidewalk in front of union headquarters. tilted.
What Driver learned wasn’t surprising now that the Chicago Police Department has 1,700 fewer officers than it did before former mayor Lori Lightfoot, due to a police exodus.
Officers “told” how excessive overtime and canceled holidays were robbing them of the rest, relaxation and family time they needed to escape from a stressful job.
“They often talked to me about instability and the inability to plan. How it affected their family life. The cost it cost them. They told their stories. How much they want a director who will listen Who can understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes Someone who can understand the stress of work Who knows the city They We are looking for an attorney,” Driver said.
“They want someone who can communicate effectively on their behalf and someone who can communicate effectively to them. [who] You have a strategic plan or are good at making strategic plans. And who is there? They were talking about past directors who would actually come to the scene and get in their cars and drive around with the cops,” Driver said.
“They are looking for a champion. “
Does that mean that the next Superintendent of Education must be an insider, or is that what Prime Minister Johnson wants?
“No, it’s not,” said the driver. “I’m in the middle of an interview. I’m not going to talk about insider/outsider issues.”
Defeated mayoral challenger Paul Vallas was supported by the Police Fraternity. During the campaign, Cattanzara warned that Johnson’s election would pave the way for “a never-before-seen exodus” of up to 1,000 police officers to retire.
The driver admitted that morale was “very low”. But it’s not all hopeless and bleak.
“If you talk to some of them long enough, you’ll walk away knowing that morale may seem low, but there are still many people who are very, very proud of what they do. I will,” said the driver. .
“They are desperate to change the situation. That’s what they have in common with the general public. They’re trying to rebuild the ship. That gave me hope.”