FOP Slams Focus Groups, Data Gathering on Consent Decree
Recent attempts by the City and the Illinois Attorney General to gather information from police officers about a proposed consent decree may be illegal, according the Fraternal Order of Police.
This week, the Lodge became aware of a Bureau of Patrol order entitled “Police Foundation Focus Groups.” These focus groups are being conducted at Chicago Police Headquarters by a company named the Police Foundation. The order does not specifically state the subject(s) that the focus group will address, but the Lodge has learned that the group will focus on a proposed consent decree.
Because attendance is mandatory, Lodge attorneys have recommended that FOP members attend, but refrain from participation in any dialog at this meeting.
The Lodge has also become aware of a message from CPD Research and Development that directs FOP members to a website for feedback and suggestions regarding a consent decree proposed by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. The information garnered from Officer responses will be compiled by the National Police Foundation.
Lodge attorneys have advised members that these are illegal attempts to gain information from our members. FOP attorneys strongly advise that FOP members do not participate in this web-based survey.
Neither the City nor the Attorney General’s office informed the Lodge of these new policies, imposed before a consent decree has even been established.
In March, the City and the Attorney General negotiated an agreement with third-parties who also filed lawsuits to impose to the consent decree, including Black Lives Matter.
From the Sun Times:
Black Lives Matter and a coalition of other community groups have won a seat at the table as the city of Chicago and the state attorney general's office hash out a consent decree that would guide reforms to the troubled Chicago Police Department.
The agreement makes Chicago and Illinois the first government entities to allow Black Lives Matter entrance into the negotiation room of a major metropolitan police department.
The agreement with BLM and the attempts by the City to form focus groups comes in the wake of a report claiming that police reform measures may already be costing lives and could backfire on the city.
A report issued last month by two researches at the University of Utah, for example, placed the blame for a sharp increase in murders in 2016 squarely on the shoulders of an agreement between the ACLU and the City.