In an attempt to assuage fears that Chicago police will slow reform efforts under the Trump administration, Superintendent Eddie Johnson yesterday issued a “road map” of proposed changes to training, supervision and discipline, the Chicago Tribune reports. Providing limited details and setting few specific deadlines, the 27-page document — titled “Next Steps for Reform” — lays out a few concrete moves to come. Johnson released the document at a moment of uncertainty for the department as pressure from federal authorities for further change appears to have diminished. That has stoked doubts among reform advocates that the scandal-plagued department will follow through on substantive changes despite some early overhauls.
“Make no mistake about it, we’re not just saying we’re going to reform — we’re showing that we’re reforming,” Johnson said. The document pledges, among other things, to improve community policing, revamp training at the academy as well as for veteran cops, bulk up supervision and institute a departmental unit to review patterns in officers’ use of force and make recommendations. The document ranges from broad philosophical commitments to more prosaic vows, such as a pledge to put out an annual report for the first time since 2010. Calls for change in the department intensified 16 months ago after Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forced to release the video of a white police officer shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.