Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson in welcoming 86 new police recruits to the Department's Training Academy. This is the sixth class of new recruits this year as part of the Department’s hiring plan to add nearly 1000 officers over the next two years. Of the new recruits, 14 are military veterans, 30 are Chicago Public School graduates, and 14 are from a CPD family.
“The choice to become a police officer, is not just to bravely patrol and protect communities, but also in Chicago, we expect officers to be a part of that community,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Through commitment and dedication of recruits to the residents of Chicago, we are not just expanding the police department to fight gun violence, but also implementing the tools, technology and training needed to tackle the challenges of they will face every day.”
This new class of recruits will be the first to receive training on the new use of force policies developed following the release of the reformed policies in May. The new set of policies are based on feedback from two public comment periods, numerous community meetings and officer and supervisor focus groups. They provide clear direction for officers when the use of force is permitted and emphasize sanctity of life, de-escalation and accountability. The Department has implemented a rigorous training plan and the policy will become effective in the fall of 2017 after every member has taken the first four-hour course.
"As we welcome the next class of recruits, I am encouraged by the number of Chicagoans who are committed to be a part of the change that will shape CPD's future," said CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "They will benefit from new use of force training, a renewed focus on the importance of being a real partner with the communities we serve, and understanding the many cultures that make Chicago a great city. I am confident that they will leave the Academy well prepared to be a trusted resource to the public and help make our city safer."
During the six-month police academy, recruits learn all applicable laws and protocols for being a Chicago Police Officer. In addition to physical training, they receive instruction in procedural justice, crisis intervention and de-escalation, use of force, community building and critical thinking. Over the past year, and as outlined in the Department’s Next Steps for Reform, CPD is adding a state of the art scenario-based curriculum as well as new training around cultural awareness to ensure that officers receive the highest quality training for the complex challenges that await them.
Last year, Superintendent Johnson announced a plan to add nearly a thousand new sworn members over the next two years. To fulfill this goal, the Training Academy began matriculating new recruits every month since the beginning of the year. In addition to new recruits, the Department has increased and promoted Sergeants and Lieutenants to ensure officers have the supervision and support they need in the field.
Earlier today, the Mayor joined the CPD Superintendent Johnson to welcome the first group of police recruits to attend cultural awareness training at The DuSable Museum of African American History. This new curriculum is a demonstration of a commitment to rebuilding trust through new training that reflects the city’s values, as outlined in the Superintendent’s Next Steps for Reform released earlier this year.