As the City of Chicago continues its descent into chaos and violence, a memo from Chicago’s police union is urging officers to refuse overtime shifts during the expected surge in violence over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
In its memo, the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police urged members to stand in solidarity with officers across the country who have been slain in the line of duty and to protest the “disrespect” the CPD has recently withstood, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“In order to show unity and to protest the continued disrespect of Chicago Police Officers and the killings of Law Enforcement Officers across our Country, we are requesting FOP Members to refrain from volunteering to work … for the entire Labor Day Weekend,” the memo says.
Generally considered the last summer weekend, Labor Day is often one of backyard BBQs and picnics, but over the last two decades, it has also been a sad excuse for great bloodletting in Chicago’s most gang-riddled neighborhoods. If police refuse overtime that could mean criminals might have a freer hand to indulge their typical mayhem.
But Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Tribune that staff levels would be adequate for the coming weekend no matter what the union does and even as he made to praise the union he also offered mild criticism.
“I would never get upset with the FOP for encouraging officers to spend more time with their families because they should spend time with their families. But having said that, I’ll tell you this, the best way for officers to support one another is to be out there for each other,” Chicago’s top cop said.
Morale among the CPD has been cratering with one disastrous report after another and rising gang violence bringing the Windy City its most dangerous month in what promises to be its most dangerous year in decades.
Thus far this year, the Windy City has suffered 2,903 total shootings, including 448 shot and killed. This year’s death rate has already surpassed last year’s numbers which ended with 447 shot and killed.
Shockingly, Chicago has seen more homicides this year than both New York City and Los Angeles combined, according to the Washington Post.
The city is poised to exceed 600 homicides this year, a number it hasn’t seen since 2003.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.