Angelo follows in the footsteps of Michael Shields, who was voted out last month after publicly questioning the fairness of past contact negotiations. So Angelo takes over a union whose members are embittered and mistrustful. They're working under a contract that expired two years ago and lost out on a retroactive pay hike.
"This is a tough time for the FOP. We have a lot of work ahead of us but we can't dwell on what happened. We have to move forward and bring as many members as possible back into the fold and get them to trust us and support us again," Angelo said.
In a symbolic gesture, Angelo is cutting his own pay down by $65,000. He said he doesn't need to make as much as the mayor and so much more than the rank-and-file Chicago police officers he represents.
"I am a blue collar guy. I've always worked. I nnever had money. I still don't. And I'll die without it," he said.
Angelo is a 25 year veteran and a detective on duty disability. He's also the son of a cop and father of a cop. Aware of the pension elephant, Angelo said that people who've paid in can't be short-changed but that if the numbers truly say the bottom falls out, there must at least be talk.
"You have to talk. I don't think you get anything done by closing your door and not letting anyone in," Angelo said.
The new boss will have no shortage of advice and criticism. He woke up Thursday morning to 126 emails, 20 missed phone calls and 75 texts ranging from 'Watch your back' to 'Get ready'.>
"And a lot of prayers," Angelo said. "I'll take 'em all."
Angelo is a former gang crimes detective. He also has a doctorate, and has taught criminal justice and public safety classes at the university level. He's a numbers guy, and says until he has a fuller grasp, it would be premature to talk specifics about contract and pension.