Weis wrote letter to clear up 'misinformation'

September 14, 2010 7:12:57 PM PDT
Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis talked for the first time Tuesday about an open letter he wrote to people who are criticizing his leadership.

It came one day before thousands of rank-and-file police officers are expected to protest outside of police headquarters.

Superintendent Weis says he wrote the letter published Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times to clear up what he calls misinformation.

Weis says he has no intention of getting into a war of words with the Fraternal Order of Police. However, he is defending his two and a half years as superintendent and all the work he's done in that job. He also says through a spokesperson that he has other commitments Wednesday which will keep him elsewhere during the protest.

"It's America. People can protest and lot of people died to give people the right to be able to protest. So it's a protest and people have that right," said Weis.

Superintendent Weis has no problem with officers protesting his leadership outside police headquarters. But he believes they have little reason to protest.

Weis wrote a letter to the editor of the Sun-Times defending his efforts as superintendent and details efforts to provide training and new equipment and vehicles to officers in what he says is an unprecedented amount.

Internal police leaders continue to criticize the level of manpower on the streets. Several recent shootings of officers have made them feel unsafe and brought morale down.

"You have to be realistic. Some people are going to complain. You can give them a gold brick and they're going to complain how heavy it is. We have to focus on people that want to do a good job and give them the tool they need to do a good job and make sure e supporting them 100 percent," said Weis.

The Fraternal Order of Police has called on the superintendent to resign. Superintendent Weis says he has no intention of doing that.

Weis responded to the criticism Tuesday by emphasizing the achievements of the department.

"In 2009, we trained 36,000 police officers - unprecedented in recent years," said Weis. "We're giving new cars out all the time. We've given new weapons, we've given tasers to all the beat officers, we've given smaller weapons to improve, we've improved our training exponentially."

Meanwhile, Weis announced charges in the shooting of a police officer over the weekend. That officer was treated and released. Twenty-five-year-old Ramon Romero has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.


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