Complete coverage of the Chicago NATO Summit

FOP Applauds McCarthy for Handling of NATO

Mike Shields: A+ to rank and file and the superintendent

By Lindsay Smith and Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Tuesday, May 22, 2012  |  Updated 11:46 PM CDT
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Signs of NATO

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields

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Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields on Tuesday praised police Supt. Garry McCarthy
for how he handled the NATO Summit.

"I think the superintendent did a great job. All around, I think A+ for both the officers and all the ranks, including the superintendent himself," Shields said Tuesday.

Shields especially applauded McCarthy's visibility during Sunday's protest near Michigan and Cermak.

"I think it made a difference to our guys that the superintendent himself was 10 feet away, you know, patting guys on the back and actually being there for the officers on the front line, and I think he did a good job," he said.

After being trained extensively on how to handle protests and protesters, the Chicago police force was able to keep the violence and arrests to a minimum throughout the summit. There were fewer than 100 NATO-related arrests throughout the entire weekend.

Shield said officers did "an outstanding job."

"Our police officers on the front lines were amazing. They really demonstrated to the public what Chicago police can really do," he said.

Shields and the FOP have not always been quick to praise McCarthy, and in fact lacked confidence in how he would handle NATO and the G8 Summit when it was still scheduled to take place in Chicago.

After the G8 Summit was moved to Camp David in March Shields made a statement that he was glad that at least one of the events had been moved, and that "nobody from the police department was really confident in the leadership and in the people who were running the entire show [in Chicago]."

His lack of confidence may have spurred McCarthy to increase training for police officers and procure new equipment.

"The FOP did come out strong and say that this training was inadequate, and that's when the superintendent stepped up and said, 'OK, we're going to change things,'" Shield said. "He increased the level of training for our officers... He had his chief of staff get the money for the facial shields. So we do give credit to the superintendent for getting us that."

McCarthy, himself,  said he was pleased with how the  weekend went.

"Quite frankly, I believe we were on point from just about every angle... We knew everything that was going to happen, and we executed and it worked," he said.

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