Chicago Police officers stage mass protest against Supt. Weis

The Chicago police officers' union protested Wednesday outside the Chicago Police Department's South Side headquarters against Police Superintendent Jody Weis.

Approximately 250 officers some chanting "Jodi Weis is a coward," marched to protest what its members say is a dangerous manpower shortage, and to show their displeasure with the way their boss has run the department.

The officers, many of which were off-duty according to the officers' union, carried signs that read "More Police No Weis", "Free Cozzi", "Resign", "No Manpower No Weis", and "Dump Weis". The signs all appeared to have been made by the same printer. 

Weis said Tuesday he wasn't not concerned by the protest, and that he would not resign.

Police department spokesman Roderick Drew reiterated Wednesday that the superintendent will not respond to the protest and that he has no plans to accede to their requests.

"If they are asking him to resign, that is not going to happen," he said.

Mark Donahue, president of Fraternal Order of Police, is adamant about continuing the message any way he can that Weis needs to go despite the waning months to his contract.

The planned protest is the latest chapter in the contentious relationship between the officers and Weis. Officers have been critical of Weis' leadership and say he's caused morale to plummet. Weis disagrees, saying that morale is difficult to measure.

The Supt. has defended himself. He says crime has dropped for several months straight and that after he was hired in response to a series of embarrassing incidents involving officers there have been no major scandals since he took over in 2008.

With the planned retirement of Mayor Richard Daley just around the corner, Weis, who was appointed by Daley, could be on his way out of the job soon enough.

Alderman Bob Fioretti (2nd Ward), who has announced his intention to run for Mayor, said Weis should leave so the police department can rebuild.

"We need a blue ribbon committee," to search for Weis replacement, he said Wednesday morning.

For now, Weis said he won't heed calls for his retirement.

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