Our fancy pants Police Superintendent, Jody Weis, is trying to go where many before him have failed. Over the decades there have been major attempts to reallocate manpower to balance out police services to reduce or prevent crime. Some plans required beats within districts to be redrawn, districts to be enlarged, shrunk, or closed and consolidated- remapping- and there have been various schemes to assign police officers to higher crime and busier areas.
These plans have come from the department, mayors, a few aldermen, civic groups, and others. Some have made sense- remapping or beat enlargement/reduction. Some were just political babble, especially those from aldermen. They are well known for blowing smoke.
All have failed. I repeat, all have failed. First, most aldermen do not want to lose even one police officer, beat, or district in their wards. Like feudal lords, they treat police districts and beats like fiefdoms. Aldermen continually oppose all attempts at remapping, closing, or splitting larger districts into manageable sizes. They even oppose beat realignment or the resizing of beats. These are simple things which should be done on a regular basis to insure consistent quality emergency service. Simple things not being done.
Reallocating manpower has also been a challenge. Police officers are allowed to bid into and out of districts, based on vacancies and seniority. Weis would have an impossible time trying to change that. Further, even if he could move some officers, they could just bid out at the appropriate time. Secondly, he would further anger an already angry force. The men and women of the department do not trust him, do not like him, and know he does not have their best interests in mind. Morale is at the bottom of the ocean, and if he can’t get them to do more with less, his attempts will be futile.
Had Weis talked to former superintendents and other former high-ranking cops, he would realize this is a decades old problem. Had he not fired the whole institutional memory of the Chicago Police Department and replaced them overnight with dunder heads, he would have received some good solid advice. Running and managing a major police department is not on the job training. You either know it or you do not. He and his little coterie know nothing. Now, he is walking the plank, alone, blindfolded, hands tied behind his back.
Jody Weis’ contract is up in March. His plan, whatever it is, will not even taxi, let alone fly, until a new city council is seated and a new mayor sworn in. By then, hopefully, he will be cleaning out his office and buying a plane ticket as far away from Chicago as possible. Maybe he could go to Roswell New Mexico. There have been strange goings on there for over sixty years. He might feel right at home.