Donald Trump

Chicago Police Department Releases Blueprint For Reform of Practices

Chicago Police Department officials on Tuesday released a blueprint of reforms it will undertake to help it battle crime and combat the distrust of police that has built up in some of the city's neighborhoods.

The department's "Next Steps for Reform" details actions it will undertake this year, including better training of officers, an increased use of community policing, improved manpower and supervision, and a revision of its use of force policies.

"I believe this framework demonstrates our commitment to keep the Chicago Police Department on the path to reform," Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at news conference. "And while reform is critical, it won't be done in a vacuum."

According to Johnson, training for the reforms will begin before the end of the year, with supervisory staff receiving it first. Among the proposed changes is the establishment of a new police training oversight committee that will oversee all aspects of training.

Johnson said a hotline and website are being created up for officers to anonymously report misconduct by their colleagues. The department also will allow for public comment on a revision to the department's use-of-force policy.

"The new policies emphasize the sanctity of life, the reasonable and proportional use of force, de-escalation and force mitigation, and limitations on the use of deadly force," Johnson said.

The reform measures come in the wake of a U.S. Justice Department report released in January that determined the Chicago department had a long history of civil rights violations and excessive force. But it is unclear if President Donald Trump's administration will follow through on conclusions reached in the waning days of President Barack Obama's administration and push Chicago for reforms.

"We're not going to wait for the Justice Department to decide which way it will go," Johnson said.

Many residents have questioned Chicago policing after violence in the city hit a 19-year high in 2016 with 762 homicides, more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

The department's image has also been battered by alleged misconduct and the release in 2015 of a video showing a white police officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. The officer, Jason Van Dyke, is charged with first-degree murder.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us