The mayor of south suburban Robbins is expected to speak Monday after at least a dozen police officers called out of work recently, prompting the village to request assistance from outside law enforcement agencies.
Mayor Darren Bryant will speak publicly at 1 p.m. Monday to give "the latest update involving negotiations between the Robbins Police Union and the Village of Robbins." The mayor is also expected to detail the current public safety plan for the four-mile town, which will include continued assistance from the Cook County Sheriff's office.
As a result of the recent call outs, the village had already contacted the Cook County Sheriff's Department and other agencies to respond to emergency calls within the village, Bryant said in a letter to residents.
In a statement, the Cook County Sheriff's Department said it was handling all calls at the request of Robbins police "due to an extreme shortage of officers."
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"The Sheriff's Office will continue to work with Robbins officials to provide public safety for the village's residents," department officials said.
Neighboring departments, including Posen and Blue Island, are also providing support.
The shortage comes amid contract negotiations in the village. Officers have reported concerns surrounding a lack of resources, low pay, and safety concerns.
Addressing the situation, Bryant said both he and the Council Board are committed to positive change in addressing issues, which include pay and working conditions.
"...We will ensure that we recruit public safety professionals in the spirit of excellence," he said. "Furthermore, amid national concerns around police reform, we will make strategic decisions to recruit highly skilled public safety professionals. We must move forward with patience and a sense of urgency to ensure that we create lasting solutions to our community's unique problems."
A new police chief is set to be sworn in Tuesday. Bryant said he hopes the new leadership will help with negotiations.
The Robbins police department has not yet responded to NBC 5's requests for comment.