CHICAGO (CBS) — A new milestone is in sight for Chicago Police.
As part of reforms put in place after the Laquan McDonald police shooting and others, the Chicago Police Department plans to send all of its officers “back to school” for mandatory in-service training.
By next month, all 12,000 officers will have completed new training in the use of deadly force.
It’s just the first step in something Chicago’s cops have never had: routine and regular training on the job. CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley has more.
This is what the use of force training is designed to eliminate – shooting.
Two officers last year shot into a fleeing, stolen cars. It’s the same action that last month earned Officer Marco Proano an excessive force conviction from a federal jury.
Shooting into a moving vehicle that presents no threat was already prohibited. Under new deadly force policies, it still is. The goal is reinforcement.
First Deputy Police Superintendent Kevin Navarro and Superintendent Eddie Johnson have been in uniform for more than three decades and received training in the use of force only once at the academy, so he said its monumental that all officers will have increasing in-service training beginning in 2018.
“Instead of like when I got it in 1986, these officers are going to have use of force training every year, so it’s fresh in their mind,” said First Deputy Chief Kevin Navarro.
Four hours of training in sessions.
“The community is always watching, no matter good or bad, so it’s important for us to act professionally,” said Chicago Police Sargent Mark Lemus.
In fact, training for all Chicago Police is about to ramp up dramatically. This year, eight hours of training, by 2019 24 hours of training and by 2021, every officer will complete 40 hours of training every year.
Commander Daniel Godsel of the Education and Training Division said the classes and simulations will be varied.
“Mandatory training will include, but is not limited to such topics, as use of force, force midigation, mental health awareness, procedural justice and updates on local, state and federal statues concerning law enforcement. Use of force will be a topic we plan on covering every year.
“We’re hoping this annual training will allow CPD officers to keep themselves safe while making Chicago and its residents safer in the process,” said Chicago Police Commander Daniel Godsel.
But FOP President Kevin Graham is concerned the union was ignored in designing the new training.
“I think what they want to do is pacify the community, saying they’re rolling out training when they should be discussing it with us and having a real plan going forward,” Graham said.
Once concern is how 40-hours of yearly training would effect manpower on the street, since police in the classroom are not on patrol. But police leaders say by 2021, the force will have added those 1,000 additional officers.
Mayor Emanuel is hiring, which should ease the squeeze. Space at the police academy, where much of the training will be done, is going to be scarce as well.