Chicago Police

New efforts to boost officer morale in CPD gives time back to officers

Newly appointed Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling to end tiered deployment system

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By just next week, significant change is coming to the Chicago Police Department.

Newly appointed CPD Superintendent Larry Snelling internally announced the end to the tiered deployment system.

According to the Fraternal Order of Police, the move would mean officers will get two days off in a row, whereas before they would have their first day off canceled in a tiered system.

"It just allows you to have more of a normal life, and work overtime when you want to work it, not because the City’s making you work it," FOP President John Catanzara said.

He says officers will still be allowed to work overtime if they choose to.

“We’re short so many officers. Overtime isn’t going anywhere," he explained. "The department will just need officers to volunteer to do it.”

The move comes just 10 days after Snelling addressed the Police and Fire Committee about officer mental health.

"We go to shootings, homicides, children who have been abused. Those things can take a toll on an officer, and it can take a toll on an officer’s psyche," he said in the Sept. 22 meeting. "So we need to make sure those officers are getting proper time off to decompress.”

Catanzara says it will help boost morale within the department.

Some City Council members believe working without mandatory overtime will highlight the staffing shortages.

“We’ll stop masking and sugarcoating the seriousness for what we’re dealing with in terms of our manpower shortages," Ald. Raymond Lopez said.

However, some communities want to see more police presence in neighborhoods due to increased crime. Catanzara said that's not always the best way to deter criminals.

“There was this belief that you need x amount of bodies sitting in squad cars in various spots across the city just to say you got the man power out there," he said. ”Some of them [criminals] just don’t care. It’s better to have useful and effective resources as opposed to doing it just to do it.”

He says major events like the Democratic National Convention could still provoke mandatory overtime, but believes it's a start to boost morale and retention in the department.

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