Chicago police union tells officers to deny Labor Day overtime

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police union leaders are asking officers to turn down overtime during the Labor Day weekend, but the city's police superintendent said he's not worried about a staffing shortage.

To boost the number of cops on the street during the July 4th weekend, the Chicago Police Department relied on giving officers overtime to flood crime-ridden neighborhoods. The weekend was the least deadly July 4th weekend in years, however, the next holiday weekend may be different.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is asking its members to refuse voluntary overtime, call it FOP Unity Days.

"This is one weekend we are saying stay home, you have earned it," said Dean Angelo, FOP President.

His overtime request is a way for officers to stand up for each other during a time when, he said, police are getting little public support.

"There is a sense of so much lack of respect out here. Not only here, but around the country," Angelo said.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said he is not worried about a staffing shortfall during the Labor Day weekend. If necessary, the department can require mandatory overtime, but Johnson said he is hoping that won't be necessary.

"I think officers should be working like they normally do, it's up to each individual to make that decision, but the biggest way to show support is to be out there for each other," Johnson said.

"FOP Unity Days" comes months before the union contract expires next year. But Angelo insists his Labor Day overtime request is not a job action.

"It's got nothing to do with the contract, it's got nothing to do with hiring more people, nothing to do with demand. Nothing connected with this," Angelo said.

When asked about the FOP overtime request, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday that Chicago police officers do a tremendous job and it's time to create a context and atmosphere where the community and police are partners.
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