Outdated system raises doubts, questions about how CPD officers are scheduled

ByChuck Goudie and Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
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Years of complaints by thousands of patrol officers are boiled down in a report by the City Inspector General.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- You could call it CPD's time machine. Like the political machine that has dominated City Hall for decades, this machine cranks out time schedules for cops, and in some cases 11 days in a row. But the time machine confounds and confuses according, Chicago's Inspector General, who is out with an unflattering analysis of days scheduled, days worked and days off.

Long tours of duty have long been a burr in the side of Chicago police officers. Years of complaints by thousands of patrol officers are boiled down in a report by the City Inspector General.

"Just during the period of time of April and May of this year, we found that about 1100 CPD members, about 10% of its sworn members, were scheduled to work at least 11 consecutive days," Inspector General Deborah Witzburg told the I-Team

"It's not 10%. There was 1,000 scheduled. But the IG report actually said five or six actually worked," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said when asked about the report during a press conference.

But Brown got it wrong, according to the inspector general, confusing the numbers in the report.

"Frankly, neither we nor the police department are in a good position to say exactly how many of those 1,190 members who were scheduled to work that long did, which is the problem with the records," said Witzburg.

There seems no dispute concerning the bigger problem: an antiquated CPD scheduling network.

"We've inherited an IT system and infrastructure to the City that hasn't been upgraded since the Daley years. That's a huge problem. So, we are taking the first big steps in this year's budget to make sure that we invest in our internal IP IT infrastructure," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

"CPD's records on scheduling and overtime and the cancellation of days off, those records are not kept in a way which really facilitates this sort of analysis. That's problematic from an oversight perspective, it's also problematic from a management perspective," said Witzburg.

As the police time machine cranks up for scheduling this upcoming Labor Day weekend, days off will not be canceled for officers according to Superintendent David Brown. He said extended tours of duty are not on the books for the last big summertime holiday and that police brass are concerned about the scheduling issues. Brown said CPD is working to add relief from long tours and extended rotations.