CPD Supt: Rebuilding community trust key to curbing violence

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Police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke today about his latest efforts to curb violence and rebuild trust within the police department. (WLS)

Chicago Police Department Superintendent Eddie Johnson spoke Tuesday about his latest efforts to curb violence in the city and rebuild trust within the police department.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, 62 people were shot and 8 people were killed in Chicago. Despite the numbers, Johnson says violence has gone down since the beginning of the year.

Speaking before the City Club Tuesday, Johnson told a sold-out crowd that rebuilding trust in the community and within the department is a key to curbing violence.

"I'll constantly be with our officers to let them know I've got their backs and that I won't allow politics and public perception cloud judgements about their works," said Johnson.

But Johnson says he won't have an officer's back if there is intentional misconduct, including officers who harass others for breaking the code of silence. Johnson also says there will be severe penalties, such as a 30-day suspension for cops who mistreat whistle blowers.

"Right now, I've started working on a policy to make it easier for officers to report misconduct or inappropriate behavior," said Johnson.

Meantime, Chicago's top cop says he is encouraged by progress being made.

Johnson says even though he didn't want the job, he acknowledges morale is up because a superintendent was hired from within.

He also says stops are up because all officers have received training to fill out new stop forms, but Johnson knows there is a long way to go.

His predecessor, former Supt. Garry McCarthy, who attended Johnson's speech today, agrees.

"He needs support in Springfield to change the laws. He needs support in the community to build that trust," said former CPD Supt. Garry McCarthy.

Both McCarthy and Johnson say there needs to be stiffer penalties for gun convictions.

In the meantime, Johnson says another 88 sergeants and 13 lieutenants will be added next week to the most violent districts.

Johnson also noted that as of Tuesday, May 31st, every officer has completed Taser training, but only patrol officers will carry one.
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