New Chicago Chief Weis Promises A Tighter Leash


Jody Weis, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s choice to lead the city’s troubled police department plans to crack down on even minor rules violations by officers, stress training to help prevent wrongdoing in the ranks, and hold supervisors accountable when men and women under their command go awry, reports the Chicago Tribune. Jody Weis, a career Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, took nearly four hours of questions from aldermen this week. He will seek to move some officers from desks back to the street, is committed to the department’s diversity but would not pledge to appoint a minority as his second-in-command, and does not expect wholesale changes in the department’s structure.

Said Weis: “If you measure a police department in a normal way — is crime going down? — Chicago passes the test. Crime has gone down consistently for the past five or six years, which is an incredible accomplishment. I don’t want to do anything to mess that up.” Weis will take over the department at a turbulent time. Some officers have been charged with corruption as part of a federal investigation; others have been caught on videotape beating civilians in off-duty barroom incidents. A tighter leash was a theme in the new chief’s testimony. Weis wants training “to set the tone from Day 1, when we hire an officer and bring him into the police academy, that we drill into his or her head that certain practices are unacceptable.” Supervisors who let minor rule violations slide are making a mistake, he said. One aldermen after another complained of inadequate police coverage in their wards. Weis said he favors putting officers where crime occurs. However, Daley has squelched proposals to shift manpower, apparently because of aldermen who would have fewer officers in their areas.


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