CPD places officers back on 12-hour shifts, cancels days off to prepare for possible resurgence of unrest

Police spokesman Tom Ahern characterized the move as a “precautionary measure” put in place “to be prepared in the case there’s any resurgence of protests.”

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The idea of licensing police officers is something “we absolutely must discuss and debate because it makes sense,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

To prepare for another potential wave of civil unrest, Chicago police officials informed officers this weekend they are being placed back on 12-hour shifts and having their planned days off canceled.

Police spokesman Tom Ahern characterized the move as a “precautionary measure” put in place “to be prepared in the case there’s any resurgence of protests.”

“There’s nothing anticipated,” Ahern said.

A spokesman for the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

After a demonstration over the officer-involved killing of George Floyd devolved into chaos late last month, the city was gripped by a cycle of looting and destruction that began in the downtown area and quickly expanded to neighborhoods across the city. As the police department sought to respond to the surge in crime and restore order, officers had their off days nixed and were assigned to 12-hour shifts.

The decision to return to that schedule comes after a white Atlanta police officer opened fire Friday night and killed Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man. The killing, which led to the officer’s firing and the police chief’s resignation, has set off rioting in Atlanta.

Ahern wouldn’t say whether the CPD’s precautions are related to Brooks’ killing.

With police officers already facing heightened scrutiny across the country, the CPD made national headlines last week and drew the ire of Mayor Lori Lightfoot after surveillance footage from inside Congressman Bobby Rush’s campaign office showed over a dozen cops napping and lounging as nearby businesses were ransacked.

Last week, FOP President John Catanzara claimed the officers had been working 12-hour shifts and were simply taking a break after being called to Rush’s office early on June 1.

“The officers there had worked the night before, obviously during Saturday night when the real craziness had started,” Catanzara told FOX 32. “And so they doubled back now for another 12-hour shift, which actually that night turned into about a 14-hour shift by the time they had gotten picked up.”

Contributing: Michael Sneed

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