There’s no set plan to hold hearings on any of the aldermanic-backed plans to reform the police department in the wake of the Laquan McDonald dashcam video release. Ald. Ariel Reboyras, Chairman of the Council’s Public Safety Committee told Aldertrack yesterday that he has yet to discuss or determine whether to hold a hearing on any of the aldermanic proposals on things like mandating new use-of-force training, recruitment procedures, and the types of weapons officers should be equipped with.
There are six police-related items pending in the Public Safety Committee, including one co-sponsored by Chairman Reboyras, which asks the department to reevaluate its entrance exam into the police academy.
The resolution Reboyras co-sponsored with Aldermen Ed Burke (14) and Patrick O’Connor (40) calls for a hearing on the police and fire entrance exam to determine if any of those tests–which include a psychological evaluation–unnecessarily exclude veterans.
Ald. Jason Ervin (28) wants every active duty police officer to be equipped with a taser, “which will become part of their uniform,” and have police department require mandatory taser training. He also wants to change the mandatory retirement age for sworn officers.
Another resolution, introduced by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6), and supported by more than half the City Council, urges the department to research and institute procedures that promote alternative methods of force.
“Recent proliferation of high profile fatalities due to the use of deadly force by officers of the Chicago Police Department could have been avoided if an alternative to a lethal weapon had been readily available to them,” the preamble of the resolution states.
Noting that using non-lethal weapons will “drastically reduce the likelihood of serious bodily injury or death in conflict situations that police officers are often called upon to resolve,” Sawyer suggests the department consider various munitions options, such as solid or liquid filled rounds, foam baton rounds, rubber pellets, or bean bag rounds.
A similar ordinance, from Ald. Burke, would establish annual use-of-force and crisis intervention training for all Chicago police officers. Ald. Burke’s plan would amend the Municipal Code to require quarterly firearms training, no less than four hours of use-of-force training, and at least one hour of crisis intervention training annually. Burke directly introduced that ordinance at an 11-hour joint committee hearing on police accountability Ald. Reboyras and Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1) held in December.
A shorter and more pointedly worded order Ald. Rick Munoz (22) introduced makes one request, “ORDERED, that no documents currently in the possession of or hereafter created by and/or maintained by any office within the Chicago Police Department be destroyed for any purpose or under color of any statute between the introduction of this Order and December 31.” More than half the council signed on as a co-sponsor.
Reboyras Discusses Police Supt. Search
Whomever Mayor Rahm Emanuel picks to be the city’s next police superintendent will have to be confirmed by the council’s Public Safety Committee chaired by Ald. Reboyras, who, along with 11 of his colleagues on the City Council’s Latino Caucus, criticized the Police Board’s short list for excluding a Latino candidate. The group sent a letter to the Mayor last Friday demanding that he consider Interim Police Supt. John Escalante for the job.
But speaking to Aldertrack yesterday, Ald. Reboyras demurred as to whether he plans to use his position to put pressure on those demands, only reaffirming his position that a Latino should have been picked for the post.