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The Police Union Has Petitioned To Block Updates To CPD's Use-Of-Force Policy

By Stephen Gossett in News on Sep 22, 2017 5:25PM

The day after the Chicago Police Department revealed details of a new training regimen (including an update on use-of-force training progress), the union that represents rank-and-file officers filed a petition to stop those changes to the use-of-force policy.

The Fraternal Order of Police filed charges with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, demanding "the City cease and desist implementing any changes" to the policy, according to a press release.

“We oppose this policy and the manner in which the City has attempted to impose it, and so we are immediately filing charges with the state Labor Board. The City is not negotiating in good faith, and, frankly, we are tired of it,” said FOP President Kevin Graham in the release.

The FOP claims that the new policy would influence disciplinary probes, witness statements and "just cause issues" and said the guidelines fall into a pattern "of making unilateral changes without negotiating them through the collective bargaining process."

“The Employer has a recent history and pattern of making unilateral change to the parties' collective bargaining agreement without satisfying its statutory obligation of bargaining with the Charging Party over the impact prior to implementing such changes,” the Lodge charged in their petition, according to the release.

The announcement follow on the heels of the Chicago Police Department shedding new light on its updated training practices. Training will be ramped up to 40 hours a year for each officer beginning in 2021. Next year it will be 16 hours, followed by 24 hours in 2019. And most officers will have already finished a four-hour training on the department's updated use-of-force policy by October 15, CPD announced on Thursday.

“The completion of this training is a significant milestone in our effort to provide additional resources to our officers and to improve our service to every Chicagoan,” First Deputy Superintendent Kevin Navarro said in a release on Thursday. "Combined with our plan to provide annual training to every Department member, our officers will be even more prepared to keep themselves safe and make our streets safer in the process."

CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson announced use-of-force changes in May, saying, "These policies are centered around the sanctity of life, with the use of deadly force as a last resort." The policy also instructs officers to immediately request medical aid for those who are injured or provide it themselves until medics arrive, if the officers has been trained to do so.

The announcement came roughly four months after the Department of Justice issued its bombshell report in January, in which the DOJ determined the police department had engaged in a pattern or practice of using force in an unconstitutional manner. The months-long probe was initiated in the wake of the release of the Laquan McDonald dashcam video. The unarmed teenager was shot 16 times by police and died.