World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Chicago Police Department

Chicago Police Department
Common name Chicago Police Department
Abbreviation CPD
Shoulder patch for rank of police officer.
Badge for rank of police officer.
Motto We Serve and Protect
Agency overview
Formed 1835
Employees 12,766 (2012)[1]
Annual budget $1,291,729,975 (2014 est)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Chicago in the state of Illinois, US
Size 237 sq mi (606.2 km²)
Population 2,714,856 (2012)
Legal jurisdiction City of Chicago
Governing body Chicago City Council
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 3510 S. Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Officers 11,944 (2012)[1]
Unsworn members 822 (2012)[1]
Agency executive Garry F. McCarthy[2],
Superintendent of Police
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Chicago Police Department (CPD), is the principal law enforcement agency of Chicago, Illinois, in the United States, under the jurisdiction of the Mayor of Chicago. It is the second largest non-federal law enforcement agency in the United States behind the New York City Police Department.[3] It has about 12,244 sworn officers and over 1,925 other employees.[4] Tracing its roots back to 1835,[5] the Chicago Police Department is one of the oldest modern police forces in the world.


  • Structure 1
    • Bureau of Investigative Services 1.1
    • Bureau of Patrol 1.2
    • Ranks 1.3
    • Insignia 1.4
    • Pay 1.5
  • Demographics 2
  • Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (C.A.P.S.) 3
  • Weapons and duty equipment 4
  • History 5
    • Early years 5.1
    • Fallen officers 5.2
  • Controversies and brutality 6
    • Summerdale scandals 6.1
    • 1968 Democratic National Convention 6.2
    • The Black Panther raid 6.3
    • Ryan Harris murder 6.4
    • Russ/Haggerty shootings 6.5
    • Joseph Miedzianowski 6.6
    • William Hanhardt 6.7
    • Burge abuse allegations 6.8
    • Nurse arrest 6.9
    • Bar attack 6.10
    • Jerome Finnigan 6.11
    • Shooting of Flint Farmer 6.12
    • Richard Zuley 6.13
    • Homan Square 6.14
  • Unions 7
  • Appearances in popular culture 8
  • Notable former officers 9
  • Miscellaneous 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14


The Superintendent of Police leads the Chicago Police Department. Along with the assistance of the first deputy superintendent, the superintendent manages four bureaus, each commanded by a bureau chief.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Garry F. McCarthy, former director of the Newark, New Jersey, Police Department, as superintendent; this was approved by the city council on June 8, 2011.[6] McCarthy is the highest paid city employee with an annual salary of $260,004.[7] Prior to McCarthy's appointment, Jody P. Weis was sworn in as superintendent of police on February 1, 2008. At the time, Weis was the second Chicago police superintendent hired from outside of the city. He replaced Philip J. Cline, who officially retired on August 3, 2007. Weis' contract expired on March 1, 2011. Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Cline's predecessor, Terry Hillard, on an interim basis.

The current first deputy superintendent is Alfonsa Wysinger.

As of December 2014, the four bureaus of the department are:

  • Bureau of Patrol (BOP): Bureau Chief Wayne Gulliford
  • Bureau of Detectives: Bureau Chief John J. Escalante
  • Bureau of Organized Crime (BOC): Bureau Chief Anthony Riccio
  • Bureau of Support Services (BSS): Bureau Chief Eugene Williams
    • The department is currently undergoing a major reorganization which eliminates the Bureau of Organizational Development, and places its duties primarily under the Bureau of Support Services. The Bureau of Internal Affairs is commanded by Chief Juan Rivera, and falls under the Office of the Superintendent.

There are 22 police districts, each led by a commander who oversees his or her district. Commanders report to area deputy chiefs, who report to the respective area chief of patrol, who report to the bureau chief of patrol.

In 1960, the municipal government created a five-member police board charged with nominating a superintendent to be the chief authority over police officers, drafting and adopting rules and regulations governing the police system, submitting budget requests to the city council, and hearing and deciding disciplinary cases involving police officers.[8] Criminologist O.W. Wilson was brought on as Superintendent of Police, and served until 1967 when he retired.[9]

Bureau of Investigative Services

Investigative functions are under the Bureau of Investigative Services (BIS). The Bureau of Investigative Services is composed of the Detective Division, the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Division and the Organized Crime Division (OCD). The Detective Division includes the five Area Detective Divisions, the Cold Case Unit, Fugitive Apprehension Unit, Major Accidents Investigation Section and the Forensic Services Section which includes the Mobile Crime Lab of Forensic Investigators, ET-North and ET-South—which are the two Evidence Technician Units.

The Counterterrorism and Intelligence Division includes the Deployment Operations Center Section, the Intelligence Section, the Airport Law Enforcement Section, the Public Transportation Section, and the Bomb and Arson Section. The Organized Crime Division includes the Narcotics Section, Gang Investigations Section, Gang Enforcement Section, Vice Control Section, and the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

The Chief of Detectives heads the Detective Division, the Chief of Organized Crime heads that division—both reporting to the Deputy Superintendent BIS. Two Deputy Chiefs assist the Chief of Detectives while one Deputy Chief assists the Chief of OCD.

The city is covered by five Detective Division Areas each led by a Commander: Area 1 (Wentworth) and Area 2 (Calumet) covers the south and southwest sides, while Area 3 (Belmont), Area 4 (Harrison) and Area 5 (Grand Central) covers the north, west and northwest sides of the city.

Bureau of Patrol

The Bureau of Patrol includes the twenty-two districts. Also included in the Bureau of Patrol are the Special Functions Group, the Marine & Helicopter Units, Mounted Units, SWAT, the Traffic Section, and Canine Units.

Following the disbanding of the Special Operations Section in 2007 after much negative publicity and controversies, the Special Functions Group was formed to absorb the specialized units that were not associated with the controversial plain-clothes unit known informally as SOS. A full-time SWAT team, organized in 2005, includes 70 members. The dignitary protection unit, based out of O'Hare International Airport, is the only unit that utilizes two-wheeled motorcycles. The Mounted Unit maintains 32 gelded horses at the South Shore Cultural Center.[10] The marine unit maintains nine boats; these bear an angled rendering of the Chicago City Flag at the bow, patterned after the United States Coast Guard "racing stripe".


Title Insignia Notes
Appointed by the Mayor of Chicago. Highest rank in the Chicago Police Department.
First Deputy Superintendent
Rank since September 8, 2011. Chiefs are typically in charge of a Bureau.
Deputy Chief
Rank since September 8, 2011.
Commanders are typically in charge of a district.
Captains are typically Executive Officers of Districts.
Field Training Officer
Field Training Officers wear one chevron over one rocker, with "FTO" in the center of the insignia, but are not considered ranking officers.
Police Officer/Assigned as: Detective/Youth Officer/Gang Specialist/Police Agent/Major Accident Investigator/ Chicago detectives are not considered ranking officers, but rather officers assigned to specialized units, e.g. violent crimes, robbery, gang and narcotics (NAGIS), Internal Affairs Division (IAD), Major Accident Investigation Section (MAIS), etc. (Unless they hold the rank of Sergeant or above.)
Police Officer Police Officers are the first ranking officers. They are dispatched radio assignments, conduct patrol, and respond to other emergencies as needed.


Chicago Police Department officers in Marquette Park.

Chicago's five-pointed star-shaped badge (referred to as a "star" instead of a "badge" in the vernacular of the department) also changes to reflect the different ranks of officers. The stars of most Chicago Police officers (patrolmen through captain) are of silver-colored metal, with broad points. Command ranks have gold-colored stars with sharp points. A ring surrounding the full-color city seal in the star's center changes color for each rank within these two classifications. Like most American police forces, the officer's rank is written in an arc above the center element.

The Chicago Police Department's shoulder sleeve insignia, worn on the top of the left sleeve, is unusual in two regards.

  • Its shape is octagonal instead of one of the more typical shapes used by most other American police forces.
  • The embroidery colors vary depending upon the wearer's rank. In all cases, the patch is a white octagon with a full-color rendering of the city seal, ringed in gold, with "Chicago" written in an arc above the seal, and "Police" written in an arc below the seal. For patrolmen and detectives (detectives are occasionally uniformed for ceremonies and details), the octagon's outer edge is finished in dark blue thread, and the text is embroidered in dark blue thread. For sergeants, lieutenants and captains, the octagon's outer edge is finished in gold-colored thread, and the text is embroidered in dark blue thread. For "command ranks" (commander through superintendent), the octagon's outer edge is finished in gold-colored thread, and the text is embroidered in gold-colored thread.

Service longevity is reflected just above the left cuff on most long-sleeved uniforms. Five years of service are indicated by a horizontal bar, embroidered in gold-colored thread; ten years by two bars; fifteen by three bars; twenty by a five-pointed star, embroidered in gold colored thread; twenty-five by one star and one bar and so-forth.

An embroidered rendering of the flag of Chicago, its borders finished in gold-colored thread, is worn on the right shoulder sleeve.

A two-part nameplate in gold-colored metal is worn above the right pocket. The upper portion bears the officer's name; the lower portion indicates the command to which the officer is assigned.

The Chicago Police Department is one of only a handful of police agencies in the United States to use the checkered bands on its headgear, known as the Sillitoe Tartan after its originator, Percy Sillitoe, Chief Constable of Glasgow, Scotland in the 1930s. Where British, Australian and New Zealand Sillitoe tartans feature three rows of smaller squares, Chicago's has two rows of larger squares. The checkerboard colors for patrolmen, detectives, dogs and horses are blue and white; the colors for sergeants and higher ranks are blue and gold. Service caps, the campaign hats of the mounted unit, bicycle helmets, knit caps, dog collars, and horse browbands all bear the Sillitoe tartan; the edge of the ball caps' bills show a narrow, flattened Silitoe tartan. The department also uses the pattern on some signage, graphics, and architectural detail on newer police stations.


Starting salary for Chicago police officers in 2012 was $43,104, increased to $61,530 after one year and an additional increase to $65,016 after 18 months. Promotions to specialized or command positions also increases an officer's base pay. Salaries were supplemented with a $2,920 annual duty availability and an $1,800 annual uniform allowance.[11]


  • Male: 70%
  • Female: 30%
  • White: 49%
  • African-American/Black: 29%
  • Hispanic: 19%
  • Other: 3%[12]

Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (C.A.P.S.)

Chicago Police Department Ford Interceptor Utility

The Chicago Police Department is often credited for advancing community policing through the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy program. It was established in 1992 and implemented in 1993 by then-Chicago Police Superintendent Matt L. Rodriguez. CAPS is an ongoing effort to bring communities, police, and other city agencies together to prevent crimes rather than react to crimes after they happen. The program entails increasing police presence in individual communities with a force of neighborhood-based beat officers. Beat Community Meetings are held regularly for community members and police officials to discuss potential problems and strategies.

Under CAPS, eight or nine beat officers are assigned to each of Chicago's 279 police beats. The officers patrol the same beat for over a year, allowing them to get to know community members, residents, and business owners and to become familiar with community attitudes and trends. The system also allows for those same community members to get to know their respective officers and learn to be comfortable in approaching them for help when needed. Beat officers are fully equipped and patrol their neighborhoods in a variety of methods: by bike, by car, or by foot.

Weapons and duty equipment

Chicago police officers are required to buy their own duty equipment, but for special units and higher than street cop they don't need to buy their own gear including a sidearm, holster, handcuffs, uniform, etc. The officers may also be qualified to carry a Taser. Some officers choose to carry a backup weapon as well, which must meet the same qualifications as their sidearm.

The sidearm must meet the following requirements:

But by these rules you can buy gear from the Chicago PD.

Officers who were in the department before 1996 may keep their old double-action/single-action or single-action only automatics, as well as their Smith & Wesson or Colt revolvers in .38 Special or .357 Magnum. Recruits choose Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, or Glock pistols. They must be chambered in 9mm until the recruit's 18-month probationary period is over. As of 2012, the SIG Sauer "P-series" pistols are no longer approved for duty. However, officers who carried one previous to the change are "grandfathered in" and permitted to carry it.

CPD Patrol vehicles contain gun racks. Rarely are they armed with shotguns – either the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 – in the event that additional firepower is needed. Officers must go through training to carry the AR-15 and have the option to purchase their own or use one issued by CPD.


Early years

Chicago Police Chief Francis O'Neill 1901–1905
Chicago Police in the rain in 1973 on Michigan Avenue
Chicago Police officer in 1973 inquiring about a traffic accident

In 1825, prior to the creation of Cook County, what is now Chicago was in Putnam County.[13] Archibald Clybourn was appointed to be Constable of the area between the DuPage River and Lake Michigan. Clybourn went on to become an important citizen of the city, and the diagonal Clybourn Avenue is named after him.[14] When the town of Chicago was incorporated to become a city in 1837, provisions were made to elect an officer called the High Constable. He in turn would appoint a Common Constable from each of the six city wards.

In 1855, the newly elected city council passed ordinances to formally establish the Chicago Police Department. Chicago was divided into three police precincts, each served by a station house. Station No. 1 was located in a building on State Street between Lake and Randolph streets. Station No. 2 was on West Randolph Street near Des Plaines Street. Station No. 3 was on Michigan Street (since then renamed Hubbard Street[15]) near Clark Street. In 1860, the detective forces were established to investigate and solve crimes.

In 1861, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law creating a police board to become an executive department of Chicago autonomous of the mayor. The mayor was effectively stripped of his power to control the Chicago Police Department. Authority was given to three police commissioners. The commissioners created the office of superintendent to be the chief of police. The title is again in use today.

In 1875, the Illinois General Assembly found that the police commissioners were unable to control rampant corruption within the Chicago Police Department. The legislature passed a new law returning power over the police to the mayor. The mayor was allowed to appoint a single police commissioner with the advice and consent of the city council.

Despite centralized policies and practices, the captains who ran the precincts or districts were relatively independent of headquarters, owing their jobs to neighborhood politicians. Decentralization meant that police could respond to local concerns, but graft often determined which concerns got most attention.

Political connections were important to joining the force; formal requirements were few until 1895. After 1856, the department hired many foreign-born recruits, especially unskilled but English-speaking Irish immigrants. The first African American officer was appointed in 1872, but black police were assigned to duty in plain clothes only, mainly in largely black neighborhoods. Women entered the force in 1885 as matrons, caring for female prisoners. Marie Owens is believed to have been the first female police officer in the U.S., joining the Chicago Police Department in 1891, retiring in 1923. Holding the rank of Sergeant, Owens enforced child labor and welfare laws.[16] "Policewomen" were formally appointed beginning in 1913, to work with women and children. In 1895, Chicago adopted civil service procedures, and written tests became the basis for hiring and promotion. Standards for recruits rose, though policing remained political.[17]

Fallen officers

Since 1853, The Chicago Police Department has lost 510 officers in the line of duty.[18] By custom, the department retires the stars of fallen officers and mounts them in a display case at Police Headquarters.

Controversies and brutality

The police motorcade awaits the start of the 2007 Chicago Marathon.

Over the years, the Chicago Police Department has been the subject of a number of scandals, police misconduct and other controversies:

Summerdale scandals

The Chicago Police Department did not face large-scale reorganization efforts until 1960 under Mayor Richard J. Daley. That year, eight officers from the Summerdale police district on Chicago's North Side were accused of operating a large-scale burglary ring. The Summerdale case dominated the local press, and became the biggest police-related scandal in the city's history at the time. Mayor Daley appointed a committee to make recommendations for improvements to the police department. The action resulted in the creation of a five-member board charged with nominating a superintendent to be the chief authority over police officers, enacting rules and regulations governing the police system, submitting budget requests to the city council, and overseeing disciplinary cases involving officers.[8] Criminologist O.W. Wilson was brought on as Superintendent of Police, and served until 1967 when he retired.[9]

1968 Democratic National Convention

Both Daley and the Chicago Police Department faced a great deal of criticism for the department's actions during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, which was held in Chicago from August 26 to 29, 1968.

The convention was site of a series of protests, mainly over the war in Vietnam. Despite the poor behavior of some protesters, there was widespread criticism that the Chicago Police and National Guard used excessive force. Time published an article stating;

With billy clubs, tear gas and Mace, the blue-shirted, blue-helmeted cops violated the civil rights of countless innocent citizens and contravened every accepted code of professional police discipline. No one could accuse the Chicago cops of discrimination. They savagely attacked hippies, yippies, New Leftists, revolutionaries, dissident Democrats, newsmen, photographers, passers-by, clergymen and at least one handicapped. Winston Churchill's journalist grandson got roughed up. Even Dan Rather (the future CBS News anchor) who was on the floor doing a report during the convention got roughed up by the Chicago Police Department. Playboy's Hugh Hefner took a whack on the backside. The police even victimized a member of the British Parliament, Mrs. Anne Kerr, a vacationing Laborite who was maced outside the Conrad Hilton and hustled off to the lockup.[19]

Subsequently, the Walker Report to the U.S. National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence called the police response a "police riot," assigning blame for the mayhem in the streets to the Chicago Police.

The Black Panther raid

On December 4, 1969, Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were shot and killed by officers working for the Cook County state's attorney. Though the police claimed they had been attacked by heavily armed Panthers, subsequent investigation showed that most bullets fired came from police weapons. Relatives of the two dead men eventually won a multimillion-dollar judgment against the city. For many African Americans, the incident symbolized prejudice and lack of restraint among the largely white police. The incident led to growing black voter disaffection with the Democratic machine.[17]

Ryan Harris murder

On July 28, 1998, 11-year-old girl, Ryan Harris, was found raped and murdered in a vacant lot in the city's Englewood neighborhood. The homicide caught the nation's attention when, 12 days after Ryan's body was found, authorities, with the blessing of police command, charged a 7-year-old boy and 8-year-old boy with the murder, making them the youngest murder suspects in the nation at the time.[20] Semen found at the scene and subsequent DNA tests cleared the boys of the crime and pointed to convicted sex offender Floyd Durr. The boys each filed lawsuits against the city, which were eventually settled for millions of dollars. Durr pled guilty to the rape of Harris, but never admitted to her murder.[21]

Russ/Haggerty shootings

In the summer of 1999, two unarmed black motorists, Robert Russ and LaTanya Haggerty, were both fatally shot in separate incidents involving the Chicago Police. In the first incident, Russ, an honor student and star football player for Northwestern University, was shot inside of his car following a high-speed chase and after what the police claim was a struggle with the officer who shot him. In the second, Haggarty, a computer analyst, was shot by a female officer. Charges of racism against the CPD persisted, despite the fact that officers in both incidents were also black. Both shootings resulted in lawsuits and Haggerty's family reached an $18 million settlement with the city.[22]

In Malcolm Gladwell's book on the cognitive function of snap judgments Blink,[23] well-known criminologist and police administrator James Fyfe described Chicago police instructions in cases such as Russ's as "very detailed"[24] and states that as a matter of record the officers involved all broke procedure and let the situation become unnecessarily deadly for the suspect. For instance, after claiming to see him drive erratically the officers engaged in driving pursuit with Russ. The pursuit labeled "high-speed" never rose above seventy miles per hour, yet even at this speed, Fyfe contends that the adrenaline rush of the chase coupled with the officers reliance in their numbers led to their ignoring any impulses to maintain rational thinking in a potentially non-deadly situation and to speed up a process that both allowed and required taking things more slowly and methodically. Russ's car spun out on the Ryan Expressway at which point several officers quickly approached his vehicle. According to Gladwell, the false safety of numbers gave the three officers "the bravado to rush the car." Fyfe adds, "The lawyers [for the police] were saying that this was a fast-breaking situation. But it was only fast-breaking because the cops let it become one. He was stopped. He wasn't going anywhere." Fyfe describes police procedure and the events leading to Russ's death thus,

Gladwell also points out that the Russ and Haggerty killings occurred on the same night.[24]

Joseph Miedzianowski

In April 2001, Joseph Miedzianowski was convicted of racketeering and drug conspiracy during much of his 22-year career with the department. In January 2003 he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. His partner John Galligan and 24 other drug dealers were also arrested as part of the same investigation.[26]

William Hanhardt

In October 2001, Deputy Superintendent William Hanhardt plead guilty to running a nationwide jewel-theft ring that over twenty years may have stolen five million dollars' worth of diamonds and other gems. He had served with the department for 33 years and was sentenced to twelve years in federal custody.[27]

Burge abuse allegations

Perhaps no other incident exemplifies abuse concerns by Chicago Police officers more than the allegations against former Commander Jon Burge, who has been accused of abusing more than two-hundred mostly African-American men from 1972 to 1991 in order to coerce confessions to crimes.[28] Alleged victims claimed that Burge and his crew of detectives had them beaten, suffocated, burned, and treated with electric shock. In 1993, Burge was fired from the department, and is currently collecting his police pension. In summer 2006, special prosecutors assigned to probe the allegations determined that they had enough evidence to prove crimes against Burge and others, but "regrettably" could not bring charges because the statute of limitations had passed.[28] In January 2008, the City Council approved a $19.8 million settlement with four men who claimed abuse against Burge and his men.[29]

In October 2008, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, had Burge arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in relation to a civil suit regarding the torture allegations against him. Burge was eventually convicted on all counts on June 28, 2010 and was sentenced to four and one half years in federal prison on January 21, 2011.

May 6, 2015, Chicago City Council approved "reparations" of $5.5 million to victims of the torture, after spending $100 million in previous legal settlements. In addition, an apology was offered, and a promise to teach school children about these historical events.[30][31]

Nurse arrest

On November 19, 2002, Rachelle Jackson, a registered nurse, was on her way to work when she witnessed a vehicle accident involving a patrol car, in which Officer Kelly Brogan was dazed and her partner was unconscious. Fearing an explosion, Jackson removed both officers from the vehicle, and voluntarily went to the police station under the assumption of giving a statement after being informed that Brogan's service weapon was stolen. Instead she was interrogated for two days with little food, sleep, and was coerced to sign a statement that she had battered Brogan and taken her gun. She was jailed for 10 months before the charges were dismissed. Jackson was awarded $7.9 million from a jury in her lawsuit against Brogan and the city. In 2009, the amount was reduced to $1.9 million.[32]

In a similar case, in 2009, nurse Lisa Hoffman was on-duty when a police officer brought in a suspected DUI driver and demanded a blood test. Because the individual was not admitted as a patient, Hoffman had to consult her supervisor as proper procedure. According to Hoffman, the officer then became combative and argued with her to the point security had to remove him. He returned moments later, placed her in handcuffs and kept her in his patrol car for over 45 minutes, and was even seen smiling on the surveillance camera as she was kept in the vehicle. She sued the officer and city for false arrest and excessive force due to that her wrists were bruised from the handcuffs. The city settled for $78,000. The Chicago police never reported any disciplinary action against the officer.

Bar attack

Bartender being punched and kicked by off duty Chicago Police officer Anthony Abbate.

In 2007, security camera footage surfaced of an intoxicated off-duty police officer, Anthony Abbate, punching and kicking a female bartender, Karolina Obrycka. Abbate was shown in the video punching and kicking Obrycka at Jesse's Shortstop Inn on February 19, 2007, after Obrycka refused to serve him any more alcohol. Abbate was later arrested, charged with felony battery, and stripped of police powers after TV news stations aired the footage. The Chicago Police soon terminated Abbate from the force, but questions remained over the city's handling of the case.[33]

Further controversy arose when Abbate was allowed to enter his courtroom hearing through a side door, in order to shield himself from the press. Allegations surfaced that the police ticketed the vehicles of news organizations and threatened reporters with arrest. In the wake of this, Superintendent Cline announced that he would demote the Captain who gave the orders, and launch investigations into the actions of the other officers involved.[34]

On April 27, 2007, 14 additional charges against Abbate were announced. These included official misconduct, conspiracy, intimidation, and speaking with a witness.[35] Abbate pled not guilty to all 15 charges during a brief hearing on May 16, 2007.[36]

Referring to Abbate, Superintendent Phil Cline stated, "He's tarnished our image worse than anybody else in the history of the department."[37] The video of the attack has been viewed worldwide on 24-hour news channels and has garnered more than 100,000 views on YouTube. In the wake of this scandal and another similar scandal involving another videotaped police beating at a bar, Cline announced his retirement on April 2, 2007. While both men have denied it, some believe that Cline retired under pressure from Mayor Richard M. Daley.[38] Daley has since announced a plan to create an independent police review authority to replace the current Office of Professional Standards, which is under the jurisdiction of the police department.[39]

On April 30, 2007 a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the city of Chicago and Abbate and several other individuals by attorneys representing Obrycka.[40] On November 13, 2012, a federal jury found that a "widespread code of silence" within the Chicago Police Department had allowed Abbate to feel that he could attack Obrycka without fear of reprisal. They also found that Abbate participated in a conspiracy to cover up the attack. The jury awarded Obrycka $850,000 in damages.[41]

Abbate was convicted of aggravated battery, a felony, on June 2, 2009. Cook County Circuit Judge John J. Fleming rejected Abbate's claims that he had acted in self-defense. However, since Obrycka testified that Abbate had not identified himself as an officer during the attack Abbate was acquitted of official misconduct charges. Abbate faced up to five years in prison for the attack. On June 23, 2009, Abbate received two years probation including a curfew between 8 pm and 6 am, mandatory attendance at anger management classes, and 130 hours of community service.[42]

On December 15, 2009, Abbate was officially fired from the CPD after a mandatory review by the Chicago Civilian Police Board.[43] The firing was a simple formality, as the CPD does not allow convicted felons to serve on the force.

Jerome Finnigan

Chicago Police Officers Jerome Finnigan, Keith Herrera, Carl Suchocki, and Thomas Sherry were indicted in September 2007 for robbery, kidnapping, home invasion, and other charges. They were alleged to have robbed drug dealers and ordinary citizens of money, drugs, and guns. The officers were all part of Special Operations Sections (SOS). The officers had allegedly victimized citizens for years, however it was not until 2004 that allegations of misconduct were investigated. According to the State's Attorney, the tip off was that the officers repeatedly missed court dates and allowed alleged drug dealers to go free. Several lawsuits alleging misconduct on behalf of Finnigan and his team have been filed in federal court. Since the original indictments, Jerome Finnigan has also been charged with attempting to have several fellow officers killed. Since the scandal involving Finnigan, SOS has since been disbanded.

On February 11, 2009, charges against Chicago Police Department officers Tom Sherry and Carl Suchocki were dropped. A Cook County judge dismissed all criminal charges accusing them of robbery and home invasion after some evidence was proven to be false, and witnesses in the case against Sherry and Suchocki were unable to place the officers at the scene of the crime. Charges against Herrera and Finnigan, however, are still pending. As of September 25, 2009, seven former SOS officers have pleaded guilty to charges relating to the SOS scandal. The investigation is ongoing as police officers continue to come forward and cooperate with the state and federal investigation.[44][45][46][47][48][49]

Shooting of Flint Farmer

On 7 June 2011 Flint Farmer was fatally shot three times in the back by Chicago police officer Gildardo Sierra. Sierra and a partner had responded to a domestic disturbance call allegedly involving Farmer. When confronted by the police, Farmer fled. Sierra shot at Farmer multiple times, hitting him in the leg and abdomen. Publicly available police video shows Sierra circle the prone Farmer as three bright flashes emit from approximately waist level.[50] The coroner who performed the autopsy on Farmer reported that Farmer could have survived the shots to the leg and abdomen, but any of the three shots through the back would have been fatal.[50] Officer Sierra had been involved in two other shootings in 2011. Although the Chicago police department ruled the shooting justified, by October 23, 2011 Sierra had been stripped of his police powers and the FBI had opened an investigation into the incident. Eventually, no charges were brought against the officers. The city settled the civil case with Farmer's family for $4.1 million but did not admit fault.[51][52]

Richard Zuley

After his retirement multiple inquiries into overturned convictions that had relied on confessions he coerced triggered the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office to plan to subpoena Zuley's entire complaint history.[53]

Zuley faces multiple lawsuits from individuals who claim he framed them, or beat confessions from them.[53] Lathierial Boyd, who launched one lawsuit, claims Zuley framed him for a killing outside a nightclub in 1990. Anthony Garrett, who received a 100-year sentence for killing a seven-year-old boy, alleges Zuley beat his confession out of him.

On February 18, 2015, Spencer Ackerman, reporting in The Guardian, covered Zuley's alleged involvement in the torture and forced confessions of several homicide cases in Chicago and revealed additional details of the interrogation and torture of Guantanamo captive Mohamedou Ould Slahi.[54]

Jason Meisner, writing in the Chicago Tribune, reported that The Guardian characterized Zuley's use of torture as "brutal and ineffective".[53] Memos Zuley wrote, quoted in the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's use of torture, described him using "stress positions"—the shackling of interrogation subjects in painful postures for extended periods of time. Zuley currently faces lawsuits in Chicago for using these techniques against American civilians.

Homan Square

The Guardian reported in February 2015 that the Chicago Police Department "operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site." The Guardian added that the facility, the Homan Square Police Warehouse on 1011 S. Homan Ave in Chicago (), "has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units." The Guardian said that interviews with local attorneys and one protester "describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights ... The secretive warehouse ... trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown ... Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside."[55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63]

After the Guardian published the story, the Chicago Police provided a statement saying, without specifics, that there is nothing improper taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units. The statement said “CPD [Chicago Police Department] abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them.” The Guardian said several attorneys and one Homan Square arrestee have denied this. The CPD statement continued by saying “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square.” The Guardian said the Chicago Police statement did not address how long into an arrest or detention those records are generated or their availability to the public, and that a department spokesperson did not respond to a detailed request for clarification.[55]


The Chicago Police Department became unionized at the end of 1980.[64] The move caused controversy as city officials resisted the move as long as they could. Chicago police officers are represented by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Appearances in popular culture

  • The 1957–1960 television series M Squad centered on a squad of Chicago Police detectives. The episode "The Jumper" featured an officer taking bribes. It was reportedly this depiction that prompted then-Mayor Richard J. Daley to thereafter discourage motion picture and television location filming in the city for the rest of his administration and its aftermath. John Landis' successful 1980 musical comedy motion picture The Blues Brothers (see more below) marked the reversal of that policy by Mayor Jane Byrne.
  • Two notable exceptions to Daley's ban were made for films released in 1975. In Brannigan, John Wayne portrays Chicago Police Lieutenant Jim Brannigan. Cooley High (set in 1964) was filmed entirely in Chicago and features a car chase through Navy Pier's warehouse buildings (since demolished), in which the pursuing Chicago police are repeatedly outmaneuvered by the joyriding teens.
  • The Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police are featured in the climactic car chase in 1980's The Blues Brothers in which a Chicago Police dispatcher matter-of-factly advises responding officers that "The use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Blues brothers has been approved." Reportedly in response to their portrayal in The Blues Brothers, the Chicago Police Department banned the use of the "Chicago Police" name and insignia in films until the early 2000s, resulting in several films and television shows replacing "Chicago Police" with "Metro Police" and other faux names, even if the films received technical assistance from the department, such as The Fugitive and The Negotiator.
  • The television series Hill Street Blues (1981–1987) never explicitly stated the name of the city in which it was set, although many exterior views (lacking the principal actors) were filmed in Chicago and used for establishing and transition shots. See the main article for expanded discussion on the setting.
  • Robert De Niro portrays a former Chicago police officer turned bounty hunter in the 1988 film Midnight Run. Numerous references are made to the CPD as well as corruption within the department. There are also a number of scenes directly involving the CPD.
  • The Chicago Police Department played a major role in 1993's The Fugitive, showing them in a semi-brutal fashion after Kimble is incorrectly believed to have killed an on-duty police officer. The use of actual Chicago Police Department vehicles and uniforms is extensive and can be see throughout the film.
  • In the 1998 film The Negotiator, the Chicago Police played a major role within the film. The real Chicago Police Department provided technical support for the movie's SWAT teams. The actors' shoulder sleeve insignia were similar to the Chicago Police Department's octagonal patches, albeit with "Chicago" replaced with "Metropolitan."
  • Chicago police officers are routinely depicted on the television series ER.
  • The Chicago police are portrayed in the 2011 Fox Network series The Chicago Code. Unlike most depictions of Chicago police, the actors' uniforms and insignia appear to be identical to their real-world counterparts, despite the series being filmed on-location in the city.
  • In The Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller tells Detective Lankford that Frank Levin had been ex-Chicago PD to encourage him to investigate Levin's murder.
  • The Terra Nova character Jim Shannon said he was a detective with the department's narcotics squad.
  • The Chicago P.D. TV series is set inside the Chicago Police department.
  • The Chicago Police Department is featured in Ubisoft's action-thriller video-game, Watch Dogs.
  • In the Netflix series, Sense8, character Will Gorski is suspended from the Chicago Police Department.

Notable former officers


  • Saint Jude is the patron saint of the Chicago Police Department.

See also



  1. ^ a b c "FBI — City agency". Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  2. ^ Mike Flannery (June 8, 2011). "Garry McCarthy Sworn in as Chicago Police Superintendent".  
  3. ^ 2008 Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, by Brian A Reaves, US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 2011
  4. ^ Chicago Police Department 2011 Annual Report
  5. ^ "Chicago Police Department - History". n.d. Retrieved 2015-02-28. 
  6. ^ "City Council unanimously approves McCarthy for police superintendent". WGN-TV. Retrieved 2011-06-10. 
  7. ^ "Garry McCarthy". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Chicago Chooses Criminologist to Head and Clean Up the Police". United Press International/The New York Times. February 22, 1960. 
  9. ^ a b "Guide to the Orlando Winfield Wilson Papers, ca.". Online Archive of California. Retrieved 2006-10-20. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "2012 POSITION & SALARY SCHEDULE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT" (PDF). Chicago Police Department. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  12. ^ "2010 Annual Report A Year in Review" (PDF). 
  13. ^ White, Jesse. Origin and Evolution of Illinois Counties. State of Illinois, March 2010. [4]
  14. ^ History of the Chicago Police: From the Settlement of the Community to the Present Time, Under Authority of the Mayor and Superintendent of the Force. John Joseph Flinn and John Elbert Wilkie. Published under the auspices of the Police book fund, 1887
  15. ^ "Forgotten Chicago". Forgotten Chicago. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  16. ^ Mastony, Colleen (September 1, 2010). "Was Chicago home to the country's 1st female cop? Researcher uncovers the story of Sgt. Marie Owens". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 2, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Police". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  18. ^ "The Officer Down Memorial Page and". Retrieved September 8, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Dementia in the Second City".  
  20. ^ Sadovi, Carlos. "Ryan Harris' slaying haunts mother and city". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  21. ^ "Sex Offender Admits To 1998 Murder". CBS News. April 10, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  22. ^ "Chicago Judge OKs $18M Settlement".  
  23. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm(2005). Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking New York, NY: Black Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-01066-5.
  24. ^ a b Gladwell, p. 228,
  25. ^ Gladwell, Malcolm(2005). p. 228 Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking New York, NY: Black Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-01066-5.
  26. ^ Rogue cop gets life; Drug ring leader called betrayer of society, honest police, January 25, 2003, by Todd Lighty and Matt O'Connor, Chicago Tribune
  27. ^ High-ranking crooked cop released to halfway house; Former chief of detectives ran jewel-theft ring, 82-year-old nearing end of 12-year sentence, July 19, 2011, by Becky Schlikerman, Chicago Tribune
  28. ^ a b "Tools of Torture". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  29. ^ "City Council Approves $19.8M Burge Settlement". Retrieved 2008-02-06.  copy on Internet Archive.
  30. ^ "Chicago approves $5.5M package for police torture victims". May 6, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Chicago agrees to pay $5.5m to victims of police torture in 1970s and 80s". May 6, 1015. 
  32. ^ "Woman gets $7.7M in false arrest case".  
  33. ^ "Bond set for cop charged in bar attack".  
  34. ^ "Cline takes on thug cops". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  35. ^ "Officer faces new charges in videotaped beating of bartender". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  36. ^ "Cop pleads not guilty to taped bartender beating". CNN. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  37. ^ "Videotaped beating dogs Chicago police".  
  38. ^ "Chicago's Top Cop Resigns".  
  39. ^ "Mayor wants cop oversight unit out of department". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  40. ^ "Woman Beaten on Video Sues Cop, Chicago". CBS Interactive Inc. April 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01. 
  41. ^ Sweeney, Annie; Jason Meisner (November 14, 2012). "Police cover-up found in bartender beating". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  42. ^ Walberg, Matthew (June 3, 2009). "Bartender beating: Cop convicted in attack of female bartender that was caught on videotape: Judge rejects officer's claims of self-defense". The Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois: Tribune Company). Retrieved 2009-06-03. 
  43. ^ "Police officer convicted of beating woman fired". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  44. ^ Frank Main and Rummana Hussain (February 11, 2009). "Charges dropped against Special Operations Section officers". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on November 27, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2011-08-12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  46. ^ "Murder for Hire" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2007–09. 
  47. ^ [5]
  48. ^ [6]
  49. ^ "Chicago police put antlers on black man and posed for pictures". Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  50. ^ a b Jeremy Gorner, Steve Mills and Stacy St. Clair (October 22, 2011). "Chicago cop under scrutiny for 3 shootings, 2 of them fatal". Chicago Tribune. 
  51. ^ No charges against cop who shot unarmed man; Prosecutors say disturbing 2011 video supports officer's version of events, by Stacy St. Clair and Steve Mills, 6 November 2013, Chicago Tribune
  52. ^ "Report: Chicago cop investigated for shootings". Associated Press. October 23, 2011. 
  53. ^ a b c Jason Meisner (2015-02-20). "Retired Chicago detective focus of British newspaper investigation".  
  54. ^  
  55. ^ a b Ackerman, Spencer (February 2015). The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site', The Guardian
  56. ^ Lydersen, Kari. Guardian UK Exposes Detailing Horrific Abuses at Police 'Black Sites'. "Author and journalist Kari Lyderson says while the details of The Guardian's exposes are certainly disturbing, many communities of color who have been victims of police brutality are not surprised." 26 February 2015, The Real News
  57. ^ "'"The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site. The Guardian. February 24, 2015. 
  58. ^ "Chicago 'black site': former US justice officials call for Homan Square inquiry". The Guardian. February 25, 2015. 
  59. ^ "Chicago Homan Square black site". The Guardian. February 24, 2015. 
  60. ^ It's a domestic black site': inside one protester's secretive US police detention ; video"'". The Guardian. February 24, 2015. 
  61. ^ Gestapo' tactics at US police 'black site' ring alarm from Chicago to Washington"'". The Guardian. February 26, 2015. 
  62. ^ "'"Held for hours at secret Chicago 'black site': 'You're a hostage. It's kidnapping. The Guardian. February 26, 2015. 
  63. ^ "'"Stories Continue To Emerge From Chicago Police Department 'Black Site. Chicagoist. February 27, 2015. 
  64. ^ Arthur R. Rotstein (November 11, 1980). "Chicago police vote overwhelmingly to be unionized".  
  65. ^
  66. ^ Leonard Baldy
  67. ^ Sergio Oliva

Further reading

  • Basu, Tanya. "Behind 'the Disappeared' of Chicago's Homan Square", The Atlantic, February 2015.
  • Bingham, Dennis, and Schultz, Russell A. A Proud Tradition: A Pictorial History of the Chicago Police Department. Chicago, IL: Chicago Police Department, 2005.
  • Burke, Edward M., and O'Gorman, Thomas J. End of Watch: Chicago Police Killed in the Line of Duty, 1853–2006. Chicago, IL: Chicago's Books Press, 2006.
  • Conroy, John, Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000. ISBN 0-520-23039-6 Re. the Burge case.
  • Flinn, John Joseph. History of the Chicago Police from the Settlement of the Community to the Present Time. Chicago: Police Book Fund, 1887.
  • Mitrani, Samuel. The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850–1894, Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2014.

External links

  • Chicago Police Department
  • Homan Square—series of reports by The Guardian on controversial Chicago Police Department facility
  • Awards & Ribbon Bars—
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.