Weis Says He'll Do Better

Top cop responds to officers’ protests

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Jody Weis says he needs to work harder to boost police morale.

    As the International Olympic Committee's evaluation team arrived Thursday, they were greeted by large banners, an enthusiastic mayor and chanting masses.

    But those crowds weren't gathering out of celebration.

    Among those marching and picketing were over 1,000 police officers upset with contract negotiations and the mayor's defense of Police Superintendent Jody Weis after the Fraternal Order of Police gave him a no-confidence vote two weeks ago.

    Protests Welcome IOC Committee

    [CHI] Protests Welcome IOC Committee
    Several groups took advantage of the IOC's arrival to highlight their issues.

    Weis said he was disappointed with his colleagues' decision to picket, but he supported their right to do so.

    "It tells me I haven't done a good enough job getting our information out," said Weis, reports the Breaking News Center, blaming himself for ineffectively communicating with his officers. "That tells me I have to work a little bit harder. At the end of the day, the morale of the department is on me."

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    [CHI] Chicago Welcomes IOC Members... Even Those That Arrived Early
    A few IOC members may have made early, unannounced visits to Chicago.

    Weis is doing what he thinks will help build the spirits of the officers. He has ordered his command staff to go to every roll call with talking points, and he is taking actions to improve resources and equipment, including new weapons, computers, and vehicles.

    However, while Weis feels it his responsibility to boost the department's morale, he does not consider himself personally accountable for the current attitude.

    "If I, from a firsthand look, saw that I was the cause of [poor] morale in this department, no one would have to ask me to leave. I would leave on my own. But when I'm out on the streets, I'm not seeing any indications of poor morale," he said. "I'm seeing people work very hard and very aggressively."

    Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and a "between blogs" blogger.