Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis mounted a defiant defense of his reputation, telling the Chicago Sun-Times he does not want the department to go back to “business as usual.” Weis was hired after a series of scandals eroded public trust in the Police Department. Now, his reign is almost certain to end when Mayor Richard Daley steps down in March. On Wednesday, thousands of rank-and-file officers are expected to protest his leadership outside police headquarters.
Despite his offer for the Fraternal Order of Police to make suggestions to improve policing and morale, it has not offered any constructive criticisms, “no ideas, no lists, no issues,” he wrote. A career FBI agent, Weis was tapped as the first outsider to run the department in nearly 50 years after a series of police misconduct scandals, including bar brawls and allegations that officers in the disbanded Special Operations Section stole from drug dealers. Despite the scandals, FOP leaders “believe that the way ‘the department is supposed to be run’ was to continue ‘business as usual,'” Weis wrote. Mistrusted from the outset by many officers, Weis was criticized for wearing a uniform even though he had never been a street cop, and for replacing 21 of 25 district commanders, the first deputy, and other top brass soon after he took over.