CHICAGO — With the Chicago Police Department still lagging far behind on consent decree reforms, police officials defended the department’s pace Friday, calling it a long and hard journey.
CPD also brought in local media to tour their new public safety training facility Friday, where they showcased a mock training scenario in action — officers responding to a person in crisis and finding a peaceful solution.
“What we don’t want is for our officers to rush in, feel like they have to make an immediate decision, and act,” said CPD Chief of Constitutional Policing and Reform Angel Novalez. “What we’re doing, right, is avoiding and mitigating the opportunities of escalation.”
By the end of the year, police officials said CPD’s more than 10,000 officers will have completed 40 hours of training, which includes the Integrating Communications Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) training that started back in April and focused on case studies, repetitive training drills and scenarios.
Officers are also getting wellness training in yoga that is focused on mindfulness, physical resiliency and breath work.
Following the police killing of LaQuan McDonald in 2014, the United States Department of Justice launched a Civil Rights investigation into CPD, and since 2019, the police department has been under a mutually-agreed-to federal consent decree.
The latest compliance report from independent monitor Maggie Hickey showed CPD has only achieved 6% full compliance, noting progress was made with the training section of the consent decree, though some requirements related to use of force have stalled.
“In order to get to that 6%, you just can’t jump there,” Novalez said. “You have to walk that policy walk. You have to train in those policies before we start to evaluate and assess where we get to that operational compliance.”
“We don’t want to do this fast, the public deserves better,” Novalez added. “We want to do it right.”
Hickey said she hopes new CPD Superintendent Larry Snelling’s public commitment to transparency will be reflected in CPD’s immediate plans for reform.