Scheduled time off for Chicago police officers won’t be canceled and mandatory overtime won’t be in place for the Labor Day weekend, CPD Supt. David Brown said during a news conference Friday evening.
The announcement came during a Friday news conference outlining the Chicago Police Department’s plan heading into Labor Day weekend. It has been commonplace for that strategy to include canceling officers’ scheduled time off and mandating overtime, in an effort to deal with what historically has been a violent holiday weekend.
“We are sensitive to officer wellness, and we believe these operational plans we just described to you can be done without canceling days off or extending the hours and still keep the people of Chicago safe,” Brown said. “At some point you get to the point where officers are just too fatigued.”
Brown said officers have had a difficult year-and-a-half, and are still grieving the fatal shooting of Officer Ella French last month.
“It’s been just exhausting for officers, and we want to be sensitive to that,” Brown said.
Chief of Patrol Brian McDermott said they will continue with their “strategic-based deployments” which employ a historical analysis of crime trends. Officers will pay special attention to all parks and large gatherings.
Each district will also focus on locations considered hot spots for violent crimes, McDermott said. Those districts will also partner with street outreach organizations to prevent any shootings from happening.
“When you look at the Harrison District, or the 11th District, they’ll be focusing on the Garfield Park Conservatory,” McDermott said. “There’s been a number of community complaints about large gatherings there. There’s also been two recent mass shootings in which there was four people and five people shot in both of those incidents.”