Chicago Police Union President Optimistic Despite Runoff

chicago police
Viewminder / Flickr
chicago police
Viewminder / Flickr

Chicago Police Union President Optimistic Despite Runoff

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The president of Chicago’s police union says he’s not worried about being in a runoff election for his position.

Election results came in Friday, and incumbent Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo didn’t take the 51 percent of the vote required to win. He got almost 35 percent.

That means he and his second-place opponent, Kevin Graham, are heading to a runoff. Graham got nearly 25 percent.

Angelo spoke with WBEZ abou the results from a float in Sunday’s South Side Irish Parade.

He said he’s facing better odds than he did in 2013, when he first won the presidency.

“I did this last time when I ran for my first attempt, and here we are again.”

In the 2013 election, Angelo said, his percentage was “in the high 20s,” and that he faced fewer opponents. So with those numbers, he’s optimistic he’ll win again. (Elections are every three years, with a three-term limit.)

“We feel pretty good,” he said. “It’s a lot of work for the next couple of weeks, but it’s well worth it.”

Angelo acknowledged it’s a difficult time to represent officers.

“The members are very frustrated with everything that’s going on in Chicago and the nation as far as anti police rhetoric, “ he said. “Some want us to be more aggressive, and others realize that in order to accomplish things, you have to maintain your professionalism, even in these most difficult times we’ve ever faced. It’s a very fine line we have to walk.”

When asked how today’s challenges compared to what he faced three years ago, he said a lot has changed since he took office.

“Four months to the day almost after I got elected, Ferguson happened,” he said. “And it’s been a roller coaster ever since. Now, we have issues coming at us from every direction. From city council, from community, from Washington, From springfield. And we’ve never faced this.”

Angelo guesses ballots will be mailed out to members by the middle of this week and returned by the end of the month.

Greta Johnsen is a reporter at WBEZ. Follow her @gretamjohnsen.