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*** UPDATED x1 *** Chicago FOP to licensing proponents: “Bring it on”

Tuesday, Dec 8, 2020

* Craig Wall

“I think in the wake of what we’ve seen in the murder of George Floyd and the concerns in the city that relates to the consent decree, people want to make sure there’s police accountability, so our top priority is working with the attorney general on police licensing,” [Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx] said.

The head of FOP Lodge 7 said with murders skyrocketing this year, Foxx should focus her attention there. He called the licensing effort retaliation for the union’s support of her opponent Pat O’Brien.

“Since she wants to pick that fight, along with some other people in this state, and she wants to join that chorus, bring it on,” said FOP President John Catanzara, Jr. “You know, we’ve been very clear that licensing is not acceptable in any way, shape or form.”

The FOP claims there has been more accountability, but vowed to work against any lawmaker that supports policing licensing.

“They want blood. They don’t want fairness. They want blood and they’re not going to get it,” Catanzara vowed.

The state’s attorney can only act on murderers after the cops catch them. Just sayin…

*** UPDATE *** With a big hat tip to a commenter

A federal judge told Chicago’s main police union on Monday that it needs to ensure its member officers are wearing face masks and maintaining safe social distances while on the job, in keeping with public health guidelines around COVID-19.

The pointed reminder from U.S. District Court Judge Robert Dow Jr., who is overseeing sweeping mandated department reforms, came after the Fraternal Order of Police filed a motion alleging the city was violating its own health guidelines. Officers have been put at risk when the Chicago Police Department conducted training sessions that included up to 50 people, the union alleged. […]

“(T)he Court reiterates the importance of the moving party continuing to monitor and insist upon compliance with the guidelines by its own membership, which is a concern given the number of photographs and videos that the Court and the Independent Monitor (overseeing the reforms) have seen during the pandemic showing CPD patrol officers out of compliance with masking and social distancing requirements,” Dow wrote. […]

“Litigants who invoke equity ‘must come with clean hands,’” the judge wrote, referencing language from a noted case, “and during this pandemic, with masked faces as well.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

47 Comments
  1. - K3 - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:45 am:

    Hmm, now why would the police want to fight against an added layer of accountability….really makes you wonder


  2. - Watcher of the Skies - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    I’d love to hear about this “more accountability.” And how ironic that he should talk about anyone wanting blood. This from the folks who still back Burge.


  3. - Anon E Moose - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    Law and order guy is sick of all these laws and orders.


  4. - Crash - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    They want blood? Wow. That’s really a weird and threatening comment.


  5. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    I agree, this is not a fight. If anything it’s an extra layer of protection for the police officers who aren’t randomly shooting or beating up people.


  6. - Nick - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:48 am:

    The FOP is the strongest argument for reigning in the police imaginable.


  7. - dan l - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    It’s funny because for as much as the FOP complains endlessly about CTU their responses are virtually identical when it comes to any meaningful reforms that might potentially lead to their bad members getting dumped.


  8. - ChuckIL - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:54 am:

    If you can’t trust an FOP president with 9 disciplinary actions against him, who can you trust?


  9. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 9:57 am:

    If the Chicago FOP is hoping to improve its reputation, these type of accusations won’t do the trick.


  10. - southsider - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:02 am:

    Nearly every profession has some kind of license and continuing education requirement. Barbers. Dog groomers. Nail technicians. Gun shops. Accountants. Lawyers.
    Every person working in education has a license - teachers, superintendents, ROEs.
    Every person working in health care has a license - from doctors, to nurses, to physical therapists, to X-ray technicians.

    Why on earth aren’t the people who are on the front line enforcing laws licensed already - the people who have the right to deprive a citizen of their life and liberty?


  11. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:12 am:

    Here’s a Chicago Police not fun fact: the department does not have a homicide bureau.

    https://home.chicagopolice.org/homicideclearancereport2019/


  12. - Arock - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:14 am:

    So these politicians that helped build a corrupt system that allowed police unions too much control and the ability to keep too many bad cops from being properly disciplined and fired want to pass a feel good licensing program? They promoted on seniority instead of merit and ended up with too many bad cops in positions of authority allowing them to expand bad policing policies. They have been fine with these bad policing policies for decades because the citizens that were being protected the best were people like them. The politicians got the Police force they wanted and will now throw them under the bus and deny they were a major part in creating the problem.


  13. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:17 am:

    Sorry, but Catanzara isn’t really a policeman anymore, is he? He’s more Castanza than ‘tough guy.’


  14. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    Police reform must start within the ranks and cannot be foisted upon the department. Reform must be something that is achieved, not mandated.

    Because the Chicago FOP is fighting reform at every turn, it can’t happen until the FOP is a partner in the effort, not a detractor. But it’s easy to tell police “everyone is against you. I am the only one who has your back”.

    The FOP has a real opportunity to be a “force for good”. I believe most rank-and-file police officers want to rid the force of bad apples but the FOP stands in the way.

    Sad.


  15. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    “The state’s attorney can only act on murderers after the cops catch them.”

    Funny how the FOP never brings up their low rate of solving homicides when laying blame at everyone else for the sky-high crime rate…


  16. - Atti's Lady - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    Crazy that they are against licensing. My nail tech is required to be licensed and has to take 10 hours of continuing education every two years, but our police officers don’t have anything? Really?


  17. - Really - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:35 am:

    Must have learned that lack of accountability stuff from the CTU. No one should be surprised by this as a lack of accountability is the goal of any public employee union when they sit down at the table to negotiate a contract. Wage increase? Check. No cost or low cost to members high cost to taxpayers benefits? Check. Pension with as little service as we can get away with? Check. This is how its always been. Why does this surprise a soul?


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:35 am:

    === these politicians that helped build a corrupt system that allowed police unions too much control and the ability to keep too many bad cops from being properly disciplined and fired want to pass a feel good licensing program?===

    Sounds like they are trying to address the problem, no?

    Oh, this is more “Union” stuff to feel angry, my bad.


  19. - Frumpy White Guy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    FOP have the wrong attitude about licensing. Gosh, if I were the FOP president I would be saying something like hey this is a great idea by the way with the training in licensing we will be demanding higher pay. We have to equip our law-enforcement experts with more training, more accountability, and better compensation. A well balanced police officer could be one of the greatest assets in so many different segments of our society. It’s a shame that it’s always us versus them and everything in Illinois and United States of America.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    - Really -

    I thought you “backed the blue”?

    Oh, you too, it’s about unions and pensions… not solving problems.

    My bad.

    To the post,

    There should be a way to accountability and to make sure accountability doesn’t mean covering for others.

    You’d think a police union would want that…


  21. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:50 am:

    What do you suppose Catanzara’s class ranking was in Staff and Command? yet here he is dictating to command what the union will or won’t do.


  22. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    ===Must have learned that lack of accountability stuff from the CTU.===

    Teachers are licensed.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:54 am:

    === ===Must have learned that lack of accountability stuff from the CTU.===

    Teachers are licensed.===

    That is top shelf tasty. Well done.


  24. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:55 am:

    Really–
    I don’t hear a lot of grumbling about the pensions, benefits or pay. Really the only thing most people are upset about is the regular unpunished roughing up or killing of the citizenry. If the CTU was routinely doing the same to the students I would imagine outrage would be high there too.

    You seem to be focused on money but that is just money, not people’s lives.


  25. - Jocko - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:58 am:

    ==He called the licensing effort retaliation==

    or, I don’t know, a means of determining their level of professionalism? How do I know if a LEO was fired, then re-hired in a neighboring suburb? Taking courses in conflict de-escalation, mental health, and use of nonviolent techniques?


  26. - Monadnock Pigeon - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    I seem to remember a similar response to cameras in cars. And to body cameras. I’m seeing a pattern. And it’s not good.


  27. - Chicago Labor Hack - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:49 am:

    == Gosh, if I were the FOP president I would be saying something like hey this is a great idea by the way with the training in licensing we will be demanding higher pay. ==

    Unfortunately, there is zero strategic thinking like this at FOP these days. A succession of leaders have done nothing but throw red meat to their most disgruntled and aggrieved members (many of whom are retired) in order to win the next FOP election. And what are they left with? Working three years without a contract and getting rolled in Springfield and City Hall — which just cut 600 police positions from the city budget. And the irony of it is Catanzara will probably be a one-termer just like the three presidents before him. When you condition your membership to think they are constantly getting screwed they tend to believe you.


  28. - yinn - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    I don’t live in Chicago so this guy’s barely reached my radar before now, but after looking at this mess of throbbing aggression I finally googled him. In 2018, Pro Publica called him “among the most disciplined officers in the department” and noted 46 misconduct allegations and 7 suspensions at that time.

    I found myself praying he’s not married with children.


  29. - Miso - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:59 am:

    —Here’s a Chicago Police not fun fact: the department does not have a homicide bureau.—

    Please don’t be deliberately stupid. The finest CPD detectives are assigned to Homicide/gangs/sex exclusively. Those cases go through the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s Branch 66. Branch 66 also exclusively handles homicide /sex cases.


  30. - Just Another Anon - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:02 pm:

    And folks will only provide information to the police to solve murders when the States Attorney actually charges and prosecutes those murderers and gets them out of the community and into prison. It’s turtles all the way down.


  31. - Tamarind - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:10 pm:

    “And folks will only provide information to the police to solve murders when the States Attorney actually charges and prosecutes those murderers.”

    The prosecutors do charge murderers with murder. Do you have evidence to the contrary?
    Also she has been asking for witness protection program to protect people who come forward.


  32. - Sling - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:22 pm:

    ==And folks will only provide information to the police to solve murders==
    They have to be caught first. By the police.


  33. - Chicago PD Transparency - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    Also, juries don’t believe CPD, at all.

    Yesterday Federal Judge Robert Dow saw through John Catanzara’s hypocrisy.
    FOP wants to stop all training (under the Federal Consent Decree), because training makes cops liable.
    Catanzara claims he’s afraid of covid.
    But we have Catanzara mocking masks on camera.
    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/criminal-justice/ct-federal-judge-mask-flap-20201207-lrdpaqxztbbvvmoeng4h53vz74-story.html


  34. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    If this is a union issue, then shame on the CPD for choosing a failure, literally a reprobate, to represent them. Maybe it’s time for the Teamster’s professional arm to move in and offer the rank and file some real representation instead of this yutz.


  35. - The Young Gov - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:15 pm:

    ====The state’s attorney can only act on murderers after the cops catch them. Just sayin…===

    This, all day long. The (Chicago) police love laying blame re: the spike in gun violence on the SA or Judges. They seem to always get a pass from the media and elected officials. Almost every single time there is a shooting or car jacking, nobody ends up in custody. Clearance rates are dismal. More police accountability = more trust and legitimacy = more people talking to police = better clearance rates.


  36. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    FOP is blamed for many things not their making. We have a prosecutor who refuses repeatedly to prosecute felons with guns and lengthy criminal histories, judges who put violent felons on no-bond release and electronic monitoring, and communities where nobody will tell the police anything. FOP is tired of being the whipping boy for liberal fantasy idealism that fail massively in Chicago and Cook County. And if you want licensing, then officers are entitled to full due process protections (including hearings under oath, legal counsel, right to cross-examine witnesses, etc.) or it’s simply a sham hearing and will be overturned when the courts review it.


  37. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    ==- Miso - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:59 am:==

    The only deliberately stupid person is you.

    Please read for comprehension, it’s on page 5. CPD does not have a dedicated homicide unit.

    https://home.chicagopolice.org/homicideclearancereport2019/

    You know who agrees they don’t have a homicide unit? CPD.

    https://home.chicagopolice.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/30-OCT-2019-PERF-BJA-Homicide-Investigations-Clearance-Report.pdf


  38. - Jocko - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:51 pm:

    ==the whipping boy for liberal fantasy idealism==

    I didn’t know that asking that officers be emotionally stable, understand mental health disorders, and be proficient in de-escalation/nonviolent techniques were liberal ideals.


  39. - Techie - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:25 pm:

    Licensing - what does it really mean? Oh right, it means being held to a standard of training, education, and conduct. So they’re against being held to a standard?


  40. - Really - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:46 pm:

    Da Big Bad Wolf,

    Yep. But having a license doesn’t make our lazy friends at CTU willing to go back to school and teach. At least CPD is on the street every day, licensed or not.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:47 pm:

    === make our lazy friends at CTU===

    Is that you, Bruce Rauner?


  42. - Fan - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    Police effectively do have licenses - it’s just called certification. Change the name to license if you want. Strengthen training and requirements. Police will probably be ok with that. But don’t let yourself be fooled about this licensing suggestion. It is there to take discipline out of collective bargaining which means making police job security subject to the whim of the bosses. Not a good idea. Details matter.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    === At least CPD is on the street every day===

    Now you’re “backing the blue”, - Really -?

    Pick a lane.

    It’s tough bashing unions then try to “back the blue” too, ain’t it?


  44. - Huh? - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:25 pm:

    As a board certified and licensed professional engineer, there are 3 codes of conduct to which I must abide. I am subject to discipline from the state board and professional certification boards for any misconduct. The ramifications of such misconduct may extend to other States with reciprocal agreements with Illinois. Loss your license in one state, risk losing it in all states. I assume that evidence in a certification revocation could be used in a license forfeiture proceeding.

    So if I, as a licensed professional engineer, can be held accountable for misbehavior and the subsequent loss of the ability to work in my preferred field, why shouldn’t police be held accountable for their actions through loss of a license? Why should a bad cop be able to flit from one municipality to another, never losing the ability to work as a cop?


  45. - Just Another Anon - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:16 pm:

    Anis Tungeka is a good example. The case only got charged after intense pressure and media attention. By the time it did, the murderer had fled the jurisdiction.

    More than that, Foxx’s office was found to have violated FOIA by refusing to turn over records in response to a request by the victim’s family, leading to the Court ordering the CCASO to pay the victim’s family’s attorney’s fees.

    Not only is there inaction, it appears (poor) attempts at coverups were included.


  46. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 5:32 am:

    === Yep. But having a license doesn’t make our lazy friends at CTU willing to go back to school and teach. At least CPD is on the street every day, licensed or not.===

    They teachers are teaching.The kids are at home.


  47. - Tamarind - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 7:12 am:

    “Anis Tungeka is a good example.”
    Your example of someone who didn’t get charged is someone who was charged? Ok.
    “The case only got charged after intense pressure and media attention.”
    Murder cases usually get media attention. Jaywalkers not so much.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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