Chicago FOP president worries new Rauner law will slow cop responses

SHARE Chicago FOP president worries new Rauner law will slow cop responses
SHARE Chicago FOP president worries new Rauner law will slow cop responses

The head of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police is warning that a new state law requiring officers to record more information about the people they stop could drastically reduce the time they spend patrolling the streets.

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday signed a sweeping law enforcement reform bill that lays out guidelines for the use of body and dashboard cameras. The bill also requires officers to fill out cards that document information about the pedestrians and motorists they stop and provide them with receipts in some cases.

“This will burden the officers with more paperwork and keep them from being proactive,” FOP President Dean Angelo said Thursday. “They won’t be out there as much as they used to be.”

Under the new law, police across the state must fill out “stop cards” that include the person’s name, race, gender and other personal information; the reason for the stop and the time, date and address; whether the person was frisked; whether a search was conducted; whether contraband was found; whether an arrest was made or a citation was given; and the name and badge number of the officer.

In a stop involving a frisk or search, the officer is also supposed to provide the person with a “stop receipt” with the officer’s name and badge number.

Under an agreement earlier this month between the American Civil Liberties Union and Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, the department will expand the information on the “contact cards” that officers already fill out.

The new information will include whether a frisk or search occurred, whether contraband was found and whether an arrest was made — same as the state law now requires.

The other information required under the state law was already being filled out on the Chicago Police Department’s contact cards.

The agreement between the ACLU and the Chicago Police followed a scathing report the ACLU released in March saying Chicago Police officers conduct far more street stops than officers in New York, and those stops disproportionately target blacks.

The report blasted the department for not documenting when frisks occur and whether stops result in arrests.

The ACLU agreement doesn’t require officers to issue receipts to people who are stopped, but the new state law will.

Angelo said he expressed his concerns about the bill in face-to-face conversations as well as to a state Senate committee that held a hearing on the measure.

“Is this the bill we would have written? No,” he said, adding the FOP wasn’t consulted in the deal between the ACLU and the police department.

“We are pretty thin as it is,” Angelo said of police manpower in Chicago. “Look at the amount of jobs that are stacked —waiting to be assigned. Where will that number go when this takes place?”

“It’s going to be a huge impact on the daily activity of the police officers and what the civilians see in areas that are pretty much inundated with criminal activity,” he said.

After signing the deal with the ACLU, McCarthy said he believed most of his officers have been performing their street stops properly, but he said the additional reporting requirements could improve the department’s legitimacy in minority communities.

The ACLU believes the information is necessary to hold officers accountable. Under the agreement between the ACLU and the police, a retired federal magistrate judge will evaluate whether officers’ stops are done constitutionally and will issue reports twice a year.

In an emailed statement, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote: “CPD believes the ACLU agreement and SB1304 are progressive steps forward to foster community trust and increase transparency that will aide in our efforts to make Chicago safer.”

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