Retiring alderman Ed Smith is urging the next mayor to retain Jody Weis as Police Superintendent. According to Smith, Weis has done a “great job“. Smith claims the cops are just mad because Weis is forcing them to do their jobs. He blames the rank and file for creating the bad morale.
What world is Smith living in? The police were doing their jobs before Weis came along. They were doing a damn fine job. They are still doing their jobs. They will be doing their jobs long after he is gone. Call 911. They will show up. They will help you. They will fight for you. They will die for you. What else does Smith expect?
Everyday police officers are out there doing their jobs in spite of Weis- not because of him. They hate him. They despise him. They mock him and laugh at him. But, they do their jobs. The police do not do their jobs because Jody Weis demands it. They do their jobs because they believe in the profession. They do it out of love and passion.
Morale is poor because of policies implemented by Weis. Weis never recognized most policies are guidelines with built in flexibility. He demands obedience to the dotted i and crossed t. Police work is flexible. The policies are supposed to be flexible. Policing is a profession requiring judgment, discretion, and discernment. Sometimes the rules do not apply.
Policing is a human job, dealing with human beings and human nature. Human nature has no hard and fast rules. Weis does not understand that.
Weis does not recognize policing, by its very nature, is an adversarial profession between the police and the public. This has been true since the Roman Legions policed the empire. It will always be true. Nothing will ever change that.
Cops will always complain about the boss. Everyone complains about their boss. But, Weis has generated vitriolic hatred and mistrust against him by the troops. This has led to disrespect, and worse, mockery.
In order to be an effective leader a person must be respected. They do not have to be liked or loved. They can even be despised. But, they must be respected. Respect must be earned not demanded. Weis has done nothing to earn the respect of the rank and file police officers he is in charge of.
How can any intelligent person claim Weis should stay? He has done more harm than good. It will take years to undo the damage he has wrought. There is a total lack of confidence in the leadership of the Chicago Police Department.
Jody Weis will leave the next Superintendent and the next leadership team in a very bad position. They will be forced to prove they are fit to lead. Weis destroyed institutional trust in the leadership of the Chicago Police Department.
Weis was a mistake. It is time for the so called city leaders to man up and correct the mistake. Before the election.