WBEZ | Fraternal Order of Police http://www.wbez.org/tags/fraternal-order-police Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Michael Brown Law: Chicago's reception to cops wearing body cameras http://www.wbez.org/michael-brown-law-chicagos-reception-cops-wearing-body-cameras-111173 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/police_body_cameras.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The relationship between Chicago police and many residents has been tense and complicated for years. And for some, the events in Ferguson over the last few months have highlighted the tensions. Nineteen-year-old Shea was with other protesters outside Chicago Police Headquarters Monday night, waiting to hear the grand jury&rsquo;s decision. She said she doesn&rsquo;t trust the police, and feels like minorities in Chicago have targets on their backs.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They put so much fear into people that we can&rsquo;t even trust them to even call them and say, &lsquo;Hey, someone&rsquo;s in my house, stealing something.&rsquo; We can&rsquo;t even trust them to do that,&rdquo; Shea told WBEZ.</p><p dir="ltr">Police are aware of the mistrust&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(84, 84, 84); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 16.5454540252686px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&mdash;&nbsp;</span>they feel it too. When Supt. Garry McCarthy first came to Chicago, he offered WBEZ some historical context. McCarthy said historically, police have been a de facto symbol of racist policies in this country.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Slavery was written into the Constitution, segregation, Jim Crow, you name it. The point is it was the police departments who enforced those laws. That builds natural distrust and a narrative in that community that before we even step on the block, there&rsquo;s a natural distrust,&rdquo; McCarthy explained back in 2012.</p><p dir="ltr">Attitudes like Shea&rsquo;s are omnipresent&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(84, 84, 84); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 16.5454540252686px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&mdash;&nbsp;</span>and that&rsquo;s why many Chicagoans are in favor of body cameras for police.</p><p dir="ltr">For a long time, residents had no way to legally document what the mistrust between citizens and police officers looked and sounded like. Illinois had a strict law against recording conversations without all parties&rsquo; consent. But that law was struck down by the Illinois Supreme Court earlier this year--and now, there&rsquo;s an opportunity to write legislation that includes police body cameras.</p><p dir="ltr">Dean Angelo represents more than 10,000 Chicago police officers as president of the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge. Angelo said many of his officers aren&rsquo;t ready to buy into police cameras. After all, Angelo said, the work of police officers makes them suspicious by nature. He was one of several local law enforcement officers who gave testimony before a joint Illinois judiciary committee hearing.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Our members sit in two camps: One is no. And the other one is, it&rsquo;s coming anyway,&rdquo; Angelo said.</p><p dir="ltr">But cops do like the idea of having an official video of record--instead of unofficial cell phone videos that can be manipulated.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I imagine that the people that are the proponents of the gotcha type of mentality with this environment of using body cameras are going to be extremely surprised what an officer confronts on each and every day of their watch,&rdquo; said Angelo.</p><p dir="ltr">Angelo added that &ldquo;a certain segment of the population&rdquo; has no respect for Chicago police officers. The benefit of these body cameras, he said, is revealing officers&rsquo; daily reality.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Eyes will be opened and you&rsquo;ll see what heroes you have on the streets every day. How tolerant they are, how professional they are and how good they are at their jobs,&rdquo; Angelo explained.</p><p dir="ltr">But Sean Smoot with the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association worries that cameras won&rsquo;t capture the complete picture, or the whole experience of the street officer.</p><p dir="ltr">The cameras are about the size of a pager. They&rsquo;re usually worn on an officer&rsquo;s chest. They don&rsquo;t offer a 360-degree view--and there&rsquo;s no real depth perception.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We know from officers who are involved in critical incidents and frankly anyone who has a gun pointed at them, their eye, their brain immediately focuses on the barrel of the gun and what&rsquo;s happening on the sides or in the periphery, the brain doesn&rsquo;t process where a camera might,&rdquo; Smoot said.</p><p dir="ltr">And, Smoot added, a camera can&rsquo;t know when a witness or victim is feeling uncomfortable or overexposed.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think any of us want to see a YouTube video released of a police officer interviewing a rape victim for instance,&rdquo; Smoot said.</p><p dir="ltr">Local law enforcement agencies want officers to decide when cameras should be rolling. But with a history of mistrust and misconduct, that&rsquo;s likely a tough sell in Chicago.</p><p dir="ltr">State Rep. Elgie Sims raised questions about the merits of body cameras at the recent judiciary committee hearing. Sims represents Illinois&rsquo; 34th district, which covers the South and Southeast sides of Chicago and some surrounding suburbs. He said the district has some great police in the area--but there are also some bad actors.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had my own personal experiences with police officers where I know that if there were body cameras in play, the conversation and the interaction would&rsquo;ve been a lot different,&rdquo; Sims shared.</p><p dir="ltr">Sims said it&rsquo;s very difficult to have to explain those interactions to your children. He believes body cameras have the ability to curb bad behavior on both sides: Because there are folks, Sims said, who will make false accusations against officers. But he still wouldn&rsquo;t want to give one actor the ability to control the story.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you have the ability to turn the camera on when it&rsquo;s the most appropriate for you, it puts a different spin on the story,&rdquo; Sims explained.</p><p dir="ltr">Instead, show the whole story, start to finish, he said, and lay out exceptions to the rules--like when it would be unsafe for the officer, a witness or a victim.</p><p dir="ltr">There are other concerns being raised by law enforcement and lawmakers. Questions about privacy protections and data storage. And, of course, the cost.</p><p dir="ltr">The cameras are between $800 and $1,200 each&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(84, 84, 84); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: small; line-height: 16.5454540252686px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">&mdash;&nbsp;</span>but it&rsquo;s storing what the lens captures that&rsquo;s most costly. The New Orleans Police Department, for example, estimates it will pay $2 million per year to outfit 900 officers with cameras, and most of that goes to data storage.</p><p dir="ltr">When Illinois lawmakers discussed the issue, they&rsquo;d intended to bring up body cameras during the fall veto session. But as the political landscape has gotten more complicated, House Committee Chair Rep. Elaine Nekritz said she&rsquo;d be surprised if it came up in the veto session at all.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank"> @katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 01 Dec 2014 17:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/michael-brown-law-chicagos-reception-cops-wearing-body-cameras-111173 Chicago Crime Commission calls for 1,400 more cops http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-crime-commission-calls-1400-more-cops-102671 <p><p>There are many ideas swirling from aldermen, religious leaders and community groups about how to address gang violence. The Chicago Crime Commission joined the conversation Tuesday with their own recommendations, which quickly garnered the support of the Fraternal Order of Police.</p><p>The commission&#39;s plan is twofold: First, they want the city to hire 1400 more police officers immediately. According to members, their calculations came from comparing the number of sworn officers working in patrol operations with the number of established beats and norms for police patrol manpower across the country.&nbsp;</p><p>Second, they said the&nbsp;US District Attorney and the Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney should help train Chicago police to prosecute armed gang members under federal laws.&nbsp;</p><p>Commission board member Peter Bensinger says they want gang members locked up in federal prisons.<br /><br />&quot;It&rsquo;s a different story. It&rsquo;s different time, harder time, further away from their cohorts and their gangs,&quot; Bensinger said.&nbsp;<br /><br />As for how to fund this plan, Bensinger and other members say that&#39;s not their job. &nbsp;</p><p>&quot;The Crime Commission here is not going to respond to &#39;how do you address the payroll or the budget problems for these additional policemen&#39;. That&#39;s up to the mayor, the city council and our greater community. And we wouldn&#39;t be doing our job if we had to comment on how many police officers can you afford,&quot; Bensiger said.&nbsp;</p><p>Pat Camden, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, said he thinks Chicagoans would be willing to foot the bill for the commission&#39;s plan.&nbsp;<br /><br />&quot;It becomes an issue that &lsquo;we&rsquo;re not going to raise property taxes, we&rsquo;re not going to do this.&rsquo; By not raising property taxes, put us in this situation to begin with,&quot; Camden said.&nbsp;<br /><br />Camden said he supports the Crime Commission&rsquo;s recommendation wholeheartedly.<br /><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 05:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-crime-commission-calls-1400-more-cops-102671 Top cop: Chicago won’t redraw beat maps anytime soon http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Jody_Weis_by_Getty.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago may not have enough cops in its highest-crime neighborhoods, but police Supt. Jody Weis says the city won&rsquo;t redraw patrol maps anytime soon.<br /><br />Realigning the city&rsquo;s 285 beats would shift officers and cars to where they&rsquo;re needed most, an idea popular with some aldermen on the city&rsquo;s South and West sides. Weis himself had been talking it up for two years.<br /><br />But aldermen in low-crime areas voiced fears that they would lose protection. And the Fraternal Order of Police said its contract constrained where the city could assign officers.<br /><br />Now Weis is talking about a different approach. At a Chicago Police Board meeting last Thursday, the superintendent said the city would not redraw beat maps, at least for now. &ldquo;We certainly don&rsquo;t intend to do that until the wards have been redrawn,&rdquo; Weis said, according to the meeting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/Chicago_Police_Board_public_meeting_20110217.pdf">transcript</a>.<br /><br />What do political boundaries have to do with policing? WBEZ on Tuesday asked Weis spokeswoman Lt. Maureen Biggane, but she didn&rsquo;t answer.<br /><br />The police department, meanwhile, is sticking close to the status quo. In a written statement, Biggane said that includes sending mobile units to high-crime areas &mdash; an approach she calls less costly than realigning the beats.<br /><br />&ldquo;None of these methods entail realigning districts or beats,&rdquo; Biggane wrote. &ldquo;However, the process is continual and fluid. Additional data, including recent Census Bureau figures, will be taken into account as the process moves forward.&rdquo;</p></p> Tue, 22 Feb 2011 21:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/beat-realignment/top-cop-chicago-won%E2%80%99t-redraw-beat-maps-anytime-soon Moseley Braun wants new police superintendent http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/moseley-braun-wants-new-police-superintendent <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_6661.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Carol Moseley Braun said if she's elected mayor, she would hire a new superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The former U.S. Senator said the current superintendent, Jody Weis, isn't a good fit for the job.</p><p>&quot;I think the fact that the superintendent, again, is not from here, doesn't understand this city, having to learn it - get a guidebook out,&quot; she said. &quot;You need to get somebody who knows Chicago to run the Chicago Police Department.&quot;</p><p>Weis came from Philadelphia to become the top cop in 2008 after a series of scandals involving police officers. The police union has held marches against Weis protesting his leadership.</p><p>Moseley Braun said a current rank-and-file officer would be better suited to run the department.</p></p> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/carol-moseley-braun/moseley-braun-wants-new-police-superintendent Union president blasts Weis http://www.wbez.org/story/abuse/union-president-blasts-weis <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-20/donahue.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated At: 5:30 on 10/20/2010</em></p><p>The president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Wednesday lashed out at Police Superintendent Jody Weis for his handling of an alleged case of police brutality.<br /><br />Mark Donahue is the police union's president. He said Weis' Friday night press conference was held in haste and that Weis didn't conduct a proper investigation.<br /><br />Two of seven officers stripped of police powers have now been reinstated. Donahue said GPS records prove they weren't present when a suspect was allegedly beaten. <br /><br />&quot;At least two officers, and potentially all seven department members, have had their careers damaged by the superintendent's lapse of sound judgement,&quot; Donahue said. &quot;He didn't even have the common decency to apologize to, or even recognize, that these two officers have been cleared in his latest television appearance just this morning.&quot;</p><p>The names of the officers have not been released publicly. But Donahue said their reputations have been damaged within the department.<br /><br />He also said the Fraternal Order of Police is considering legal action &quot;against this superintendent on behalf of these two police officers whose good names and reputations have been tarnished by his incompetence.&quot;</p><p>Few details have been released about the incident in question. But on Tuesday, Mayor Richard Daley told reporters that &quot;a young person was handcuffed and several police officers watched it, and someone went over and punched him in the jaw. The superintendent immediately suspended him.&quot;</p><p>The Chicago Police Department today released a statement confirming that two officers have been cleared in the incident and that they're not part of the investigation. The department says it is &quot;committed to cooperating fully with all (Independent Police Review Authority) investigations. It is important to note that relief of powers does not consititute discipline.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 20 Oct 2010 20:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/abuse/union-president-blasts-weis