Mayor’s biggest test: contract negotiations with cops

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall. | Sun-Times file photo

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The Fraternal Order of Police just elected a new president, ostensibly because the rank-and-file is “demoralized” over criticism over how they police the city, the rules for which are prescribed by law (“Demoralized Chicago Police officers change union presidents” — April 13).

“Obey the law and you’ll never be challenged by a police officer” is a favorite cop mantra. Yet, when charged with disobeying the rules governing how they police the rest of us, they expect exoneration without question. Otherwise, nobody “has their back.”

They cavalierly dismiss this inconsistency despite criticisms from investigators at all levels that Chicago’s policing practices are riven with flaws and need an overhaul in order to cure the negative aspects of cop culture which cost taxpayers millions to settle cop malpractice lawsuits.

Soon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel must negotiate a new cop work contract that would no longer give a pass to questionable law enforcement. That would be a sound first step in backing the exemplary police officers who follow the rules. It would also begin to heal the rift between cops and civilians that stymies making arrests and would make it easier for Supt. Eddie Johnson to reform from within. It promises to be a major test of his judgment and integrity as mayor. Will it be the road taken toward enlightened law enforcement or will it perpetuate business as usual to curry cop votes in the next mayoral election?

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Ricketts make their mark

Regarding new construction (“The New Wrigleyville” — April 12) around Wrigley Field, current ownership seems as intent upon reshaping the whole neighborhood as it is on modernizing the park and rebuilding the roster annually. Perhaps we ought to cut to the chase, and rename the neighborhood Rickettsville.

Bill Savage, Rogers Park

Wake up, lawmakers

What will it take to wake up the selfish politicians in Springfield? If Chicago Public Schools is forced to close early, not only will the kids miss three weeks of education and the safety of being in a secure building, they will miss three weeks of breakfast and lunch. I hope our elected officials experience extreme indigestion after their next catered committee meeting.

Harriet Coleman, Skokie

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