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Police Union Urges Officers To Avoid Working Overtime On Labor Day Weekend

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 26, 2016 7:16PM

Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Fraternal Order of Police has urged officers to not volunteer for any non-mandatory overtime for the full Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 through 5. Supt. Eddie Johnson has voiced support for the move, according to NBC 5.

The police union distributed a flier to officers that declared the holiday weekend “FOP Unity Days” intended to “show unity” and “protest the continued disrespect of Chicago Police Officers and the killings of Law Enforcement Officers across our country.” The flier adds, “You’ve earned time to be with your Families."

"I do endorse officers spending time with their families," Johnson said, according to NBC. "Our responsibility and our oath is to back each other up out there. We are here to serve and protect."

The flier lists a host of overtime opportunities that officers are encouraged to avoid, including many of the summer-specific details designed to increase police visibility during holiday seasonal stretches with the potential for violence, like Labor Day. Among the units to be avoided are Navy Pier, McCormick Place, Park District, and “Other Off-Duty Work,” which covers festivals and other spectator events.

Anthony Guglielmi, Communications Director of Chicago Police Department, said the department does not anticipate any operational repercussions. “Every single officer who serves our city on holiday weekends plays a valued and important role in keeping Chicago safe,” he said in a statement sent to Chicagoist. “We do not expect any disruption in operations for Labor Day weekend.”

Chicago police enlisted thousands of officers over the Fourth of July weekend and amped up patrols at parks, at the lakefront, and on city streets. Added overtime allowed for the increased police presence. Shootings that weekend were down compared to years prior, even after a late-weekend upsurge in which 28 were shot in a 15-hour period.

FOP President Dean Angelo also dismissed safety concerns regarding the announcement. “The department has enough leeway to make adjustments so that all needs will be accommodated,” he told Chicagoist.

Angelo also said that the anti-police sentiment in Chicago and nationwide is self-evident, and that political figures have failed to properly address it. “Look at the rhetoric that gets tossed about at demonstrations—and that’s not even getting into the assaults and ambushes around the country.”

“Politicians are running on anti-police rather than anti-crime platforms. And we’ve seen minimal or no outrage from public officials, many of whom have police security details.”

Angelo said he had not received comment from City Council officials or Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration.

Facebook / Fraternal Order of Police