Chicago Police Call For Superintendent's Resignation
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Union leaders are calling for Jody Weis to resign, but the former FBI agent says his work isn't finished yet. Chicago Public Radio's Robert Wildeboer reports.
ROB WILDEBOER: About 300 officers and their supporters marched in a protest line this morning that snaked back and forth in front of police headquarters on the city's South Side. Detective Ed King had his arms full of signs for protestors to carry.
ED KING: More Police, no Weis. Assaults on police officers are up 20 percent. Resign. We have several others, too.
WILDEBOER: The union has lots of complaints about the police boss, but there's one tying them all together. Detective Frank Roman says he and the other officers don't like Weis because the former FBI agent was never a cop, and he's not from Chicago.
FRANK ROMAN: I'm not a fan of hiring outside the department when you got plenty of people that have doctorates and master's degree in law enforcement, and they've got 20, 30, 40 years, and you go out of the department to hire. That doesn't make any sense to me.
(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL PROTEST)
BLOCK: (Chanting) It's time for him to hit the road. Richie Daley, can't you see? A change of sup is what we need.
WILDEBOER: That the union is still talking about Weis's response to that incident gives you some idea of how deeply some officers dislike him. Mark Donahue is the president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
MARK DONAHUE: We didn't have any sway at all in picking this superintendent.
WILDEBOER: Unidentified Man: Alderman, thank you for coming out.
BOB FIORETTI: Thank you. Thank you.
WILDEBOER: And he says the magic words the union wants to hear:
FIORETTI: It's essential to begin looking inside the department for the next superintendent.
JODY WEIS: You've got to be realistic. Some people are going to complain. You could give them a gold brick, and they're going to complain how heavy it is.
WILDEBOER: Superintendent Jody Weis says the officers are free to march, but says he won't resign.
WEIS: I came here with a job to do. I've still got more work to be done, and I'm certainly not going to leave until I get that work done.
GERALD FRAZIER: He has to stay focused on the reason he was brought here.
WILDEBOER: Gerald Frazier is the president of Citizens Alert, a police accountability group. He says there are lots of headlines now about cops who think Weis is doing a bad job, but he says they're much better than the headlines just a few years ago.
FRAZIER: You know, I see a big difference just in terms of the conversation that I'm hearing now about how do we fight crime as opposed to how do we get rid of all these bad police officers.
WILDEBOER: For NPR news, I'm Robert Wildeboer in Chicago.
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