Years ago I served on the Board of Trustees for a village on the North Shore. One of our duties was to hire a new Chief of Police. The process allowed us to spend some time with the final candidate and learn a few things about law enforcement work.
Serve and Protect, or?
The new Chief mentioned that not everyone who wants to become a police officer is necessarily motivated by the desire to serve and protect. Some, he confided, are attracted by confrontation and the potential for violence that often comes along with the job. We suspected that one of the current force fell into that category. Because of union contractual rules, it took over a year to dismiss this one officer. Our situation was one small microcosm of the City of Chicago.
Too Much Ingrained Inertia
It is unrealistic to think that one person, even at the top of the chain, can change the entrenched interests within the Chicago Police Department in a few years, let alone overnight. I’m all for the expression of concerns and am disappointed by the continuous unraveling of fact after fact in these latest cases, but to take out the frustrations on one or two individuals is not going to solve the problems. It merely drops them into someone else’s lap.
Back to Square One
McCarthy handled many potential situations admirably and deserved our support. Now it’s start all over again. In my opinion McCarthy is one fine copper. I’ll miss him.