Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s plan to separate the Office of Professional Standards from the Chicago Police Department and speed investigations of police wrongdoing came under fire yesterday, says the Chicago Sun-Times. The Rev. Jesse Jackson said a mayor who, as a prosecutor, failed to follow up on allegations that a police lieutenant tortured criminal suspects cannot be trusted to pick an unbiased administrator administrator who reports directly to the mayor. What’s needed is an independent review board, he said. On the other side of the debate, Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue is concerned Daley may have gone too far in the drive to restore credibility to an agency that’s become a lightning rod for criticism.
Daley insisted that the “total restructuring” he will introduce to the City Council next week will restore public confidence shaken by “disturbing instances of misconduct” by officers. Police Superintendent Phil Cline resigned April 2 amid the wake of the controversy surrounding police handling of three barroom brawls involving off-duty police officers. The new structure would take the standards office out of the police department and make it a separate department with subpoena power and an administrator who reports to the mayor. If an investigation were not done within six months, the director would be required to explain why. Daley is not promising to add investigators.