CHICAGO (WLS) — Despite mock de-escalation training at the city’s new public safety training facility, a court-appointed monitor still says the Chicago Police Department is lagging behind in its efforts to institute reforms.
After more than four years of federal oversight, the team monitoring CPD’s consent decree compliance released its assessment for the eighth reporting period ending in June. It said while the department has made some progress, CPD has only achieved 6% full compliance.
“In order to get to that 6% you can’t just jump there. You have to walk that policy walk,” said CPD Constitutional Policing and Reform Chief Angel Novalez.
Police officials say the process is slow and complex, but they are committed to completing it.
Monitor Maggie Hickey said the city of Chicago and the department have reached some level of compliance. In the report she writes, “Superintendent Snelling has the opportunity to address challenges that have disproportionately delayed progress across the consent decree.”
By the end of the year, officers will receive 40 hours of training and wellness. CPD agreed to overhaul its policies when it entered into the decree in 2019 after a Justice Department investigation into the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald.
“At this new facility now we’re able to bring 21st century law enforcement policing to our Chicago Police Department,” said Training and Support Group Commander Ralph Cruz.
But the slow progress does have its critics, including Tree of Life founder and chairman of the 6th Police District Council Eric Russell.
“What we ask is simple. We demand that people must uphold while enforcing the law,” he said.
While officer recruitment and retention challenges are being addressed, use of force policy and community engagement are still works in progress.
Some police reform advocates add that Black and other communities that are mainly people of color still play a pivotal role in the success of any reforms, no matter how long they take.