By J. J. Quincannon, The Chicago Times
August 30, 2022
CHICAGO — Chicago’s Inspector General released a condemning report on the impact of canceled days off for Chicago police officers. The report follows speculation that a recent spike in officer suicides is directly linked to long hours on the job for weeks at a time.
According to the IG’s report, CPD officers are working as much as 11 or more consecutive days per pay period. Between April and May, nearly 1,000 officers were ordered to work 11 consecutive days.
“A lot of industries have restrictions on how long it is appropriate for employees to work without rest: airline pilots, truck drivers, medical residents, and we want to aid the city in its decision making to staff the police department in a way that best keeps people safe,” Inspector General Deborah Witzburg said in a statement.
Another factor for the grueling schedule is the drastic reduction in officers covering duties throughout our beautiful city. Although staffing has been in decline since 2016, the highest departure rate occurred after 2019 with roughly 2,100 officers leaving the force via resignation or retirement. Many officers that resigned have been hired by suburban police departments, leaving many to wonder if policy from top brass and the 5th floor have increased officer attrition. The situation has gotten so bad that CPD has lowered recruitment requirements to strengthen the ranks.
The IG report did note that “. . . some members did not actually work as many consecutive days as they were scheduled to work . . .” which supports Superintendent David Brown’s explanation that not all officers scheduled worked 11 consecutive days. Brown did admit that nearly 10% of sworn officers did work 11 or more consecutive days.
Photo: Daniel Schwen