41st Ward Alderman Napolitano to introduce ordinance giving police officers option to deny working on canceled days off, saying officers have been worked to a breaking point
by BRIAN NADIG
At the July 20 City Council meeting, Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) will introduce an ordinance giving police officers the option to deny working on their canceled days off or be paid 2 1/2 times their normal pay if they report to work on a canceled day off.
“I am disgusted by the complete disregard for our Chicago police officers. This city has worked our officers to a breaking point over the last 4 years,” Napolitano said in a statement. “We’ve seen twenty Chicago police officers take their own lives over the last four years. Three of these unfortunate losses happened over the last 10 days. We need to give officers time away from the job for their mental health and safety.”
Napolitano said in an interview that some officers have worked “11 days straight, one day off, then 23 straight, one day off, 11 days straight.”
“We are in a mental health crisis right now. … There’s never been this much disrespect for officers,” Napolitano said. “This is not a cry for help. This is an alarm for help.”
There are rules and laws regulating how long truck drivers can work but not for officers, he added.
Napolitano said that he expects his “Chicago Police Mental Health Preservation Ordinance” will be sent to the Rules Committee where it will likely sit in “purgatory”. He said that he hopes voters will take note of which aldermen are denying a “conversation” on the proposal at a public hearing.
Similar ordinances also may be introduced by other aldermen at the July 20 meeting, Napolitano said.
Co-sponsors of the police mental health preservation ordinance include Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th), Alderman Nick Sposato (38th), Alderman Silvana Tabares (23rd), Alderman Raymond Lopez (15th), Alderman James Gardiner (45th), Alderman Edward Burke (14th) and Alderman Felix Cardona (31st).