CPD order limits days off 'until further notice,' internal memo says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A memo from Chicago police headquarters, distributed Saturday afternoon to districts citywide and obtained by the I-Team, will limit days off "until further notice."

The order extends a similar effort to beef up street patrol presence that is in effect for this weekend, by eliminating one of two regularly scheduled days off for officers.

CPD officials had said that order for this weekend only was a result of "current crime patterns." The new memo obtained Saturday by the I-Team doesn't explain the reason for the now open-ended extension.

Initially, last week police union officials said CPD was worried about possible civil unrest after a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. City officials categorically denied that was the inspiration.

RELATED: CPD cancels day off over weekend citing 'current crime patterns,' not possible Rittenhouse verdict

The Rittenhouse murder trial is now likely to close early next week and a jury verdict could come at any time after that.

"To enhance public safety and to address current crime patterns, all full-duty sworn members will have one regular day off cancelled," CPD said in a statement.

"They're just throwing everything and the kitchen sink out there in the hopes that it's going to keep murders from going past 850 this year," said 15th ward Ald. Ray Lopez. "It's bad strategy. It's not going to be impactful. It's just going to continue demoralizing officers who are trying to keep this city from tearing itself apart."

A frequent critic of the Mayor, Lopez, who sits on City Council's Public Safety Committee lashed out at the move, which he believes will have the opposite effect of what is intended.

"We know what works. Hire more officers. Fill the vacancies," said Lopez.

That CPD is short staffed is not a secret. There are currently 987 sworn vacancies in the department. This after 614 vacancies were eliminated in 2021.

Eyewitness News has reached out to the Chicago FOP for comment.
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