CPD adds 81 officers to police force

CPD Supt. David Brown said the recruits are “one of the most unique groups” in Chicago history, joining the police force during a pandemic and “unprecedented” civil unrest

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Chicago Police Supt. David Brown (above) on Monday announced the death of Officer James Daly, saying in a statement to the media: “Today, I mourn alongside everyone in the department.” In a separate statement to rank-and-file officers, Brown disclosed that Daly died of an apparent suicide.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown

A new class of police officers is joining the Chicago Police Department, entering the police force during the coronavirus pandemic and heightened civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

“We’ve never had the two intersect, where you have a global pandemic and unprecedented civil unrest,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said at a Monday news conference. “These people are quite aware of those circumstances and that background, and yet, they are committed to this profession.”

The 81 new probationary police officers were the first recruit class to undergo youth-led neighborhood tours, part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s promise for police reform, Brown said. The new officers will be trained, mentored and evaluated over the next three months.

“The new officers are diverse, coming from all backgrounds and neighborhoods throughout Chicago,” Brown said, “and are increasingly reflective of the communities they have sworn to protect and serve.”

Brown said officers are monitoring the aftermath of the shooting of a Black man by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Sunday evening.

“We are obviously adjusting based on the information coming from, not only what happened in Wisconsin, but what happens here in Chicago,” Brown said.

The Kenosha shooting, captured on a cellphone video, shows the victim Jacob Blake walking to the front of his SUV. Officers opened fire after he opened the car door and leaned into the vehicle. Blake was taken to a Milwaukee hospital in serious condition.

Brown said the “majority” of CPD officers are committed to doing their jobs the right way, but in light of a “history of misconduct,” Brown said the contingent of CPD officers that don’t follow their training or treat people with respect will be held accountable.

This weekend, officers made 78 gun arrests and recovered 98 guns, Brown said, bringing the total number of guns recovered this year to 6,701. There were 39 shooting incidents this weekend, Brown said, resulting in 59 victims — including two children — and five murders. Over the past week, officers made seven arrests for criminal sexual assault and two arrests each for murder, robbery and aggravated battery.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) said the new recruits “hopefully” represent the future of policing in communities, completing crisis intervention and deescalation training.

“I’m hopeful that this knowledge of our communities and how our communities are will lead to better community policing in our neighborhoods,” Dowell said.

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