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New Chicago police union president ‘assembling a team’

Kevin Graham is the new president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Kevin Graham, the newly elected president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said Thursday he’s working on “assembling a team that’s going to work hard for our members.”

He also thanked outgoing FOP President Dean Angelo.

Graham spoke for less than two minutes and did not respond to questions.

Graham bested Angelo in a runoff election decided Wednesday to lead the union representing rank-and-file Chicago Police officers. Graham received 56.2 percent of the 9,811 votes cast to Angelo’s 43.8 percent.

Last week, Graham blasted Angelo for cooperating with a Justice Department investigation he should have opposed and for encouraging his members to speak with DOJ investigators “without legal representation.”

Graham has also criticized Angelo for signing on to a bill that gave Chicago 15 more years to ramp up to 90 percent funding of the police pension fund and made it clear that he will be far more aggressive and outspoken than Angelo has been.

Members of the City Council’s Black Caucus members are threatening to hold up ratification of any police contract that continues to make it “easy for officers to lie” by giving them 24 hours before providing a statement after a shooting and includes “impediments to accountability” that prohibit anonymous complaints, allow officers to change statements after reviewing video and requires sworn affidavits.

“If the mayor stands pat, the majority of Council members will stand with him on making the changes. But it’s gonna be up to him,” Sawyer said.

New FOP Vice President Martin Preib declined to comment about the Black Caucus’ threat to withhold approval of a new contract.

In March, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson announced several new approaches for self-imposed reform within the Chicago Police Department.

Those efforts, Johnson previously said, will focus on improving manpower and supervision; a further investment in community policing; better officer training; revised guidance on use-of-force, and more transparency and accountability.