In anticipation of violence over memorial day weekend, Chicago has canceled vacation for all officers going into the holiday.
According to ABC7 which obtained an internal CPD memo, all days off are being canceled for one full week between May 24 and 31. Officers may also be placed on 12-hour work shifts during that time "if operational needs arise."
CPD has increased staffing levels at times in recent years after especially high-crime weekends, but typically canceling just one day off across ranks. According to the police department order, the upcoming holiday will require that officers work straight through their regularly scheduled off days. -ABC7
"The escape from this job and the tragic things we see on a daily basis, to be able to go on vacation or even just spend time with your family at a barbecue, it is decompression time that is sorely needed," said John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.
The notice comes as data reveals more officers left CPD than joined in 2019 and 2020 - with 900 leaving last year vs. just 51 who joined the force.
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"In theory, we are probably 2,000-plus under our all-time high," said Catanzara. "That doesn't make anybody safe, that doesn't make the streets safer which the last two years of homicide numbers show. That doesn't make our officers any safer, it leads to exhaustion."
Joining the union in outrage is activist priest Father Michael Pfleger,
"What are we going to do? We need more police," he said. "Offer the good ones incentives. Yes, we have a shortage. My area, Englewood and Auburn Gresham, is in need. We need officers who are not exhausted. These are good officers who are exhausted."
And according to CPD Chief Brendan Deenihan, "We definitely need help, and I have no doubt that there are people out there that, they know exactly who these offenders are."
Last weekend, at least 24 people were shot and 6 died across Chicago.