Illinois

CPD Revives Controversial “Merit Promotion” System

Chicago — Less than two years after it was abolished, the Chicago Police Department worked to revive the controversial “merit promotion” system, WGN Investigates learned.

From 19 July, 30 officers have been selected for training to become Lieutenant CPD. Nine of them were selected by a qualification system that allows officers to move up the ranks after being nominated by a high-ranking member of the CPD commander.

The list of new lieutenants obtained by WGN Investigates shows that nine successful promotions have been nominated by CPD First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter and eight other former HQ personnel who subsequently retired.

“Diversity is more important than ever in law enforcement,” said CPD Supt. David Brown said on Monday. “If we intend to build trust in the community, it will be done through diversity. To reflect the community, blacks, browns and women are at the rank and file level, as well as at all police levels. Includes being at the level. “

The merit promotion system was introduced in the 1990s as a way to increase the number of black and Latin officers in supervisory positions within CPD. With this system, executives were able to move up the ranks even if they weren’t at the top of the list in their promotion exam scores.

CPD police officers often complained about the opaque nature of the process, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report prompted by the deadly shooting of Laquan McDonald in 2014. Officers often told federal agents that promotion of merit was seen as “a reward for favoritism, not a perception of excellence.”

Charlie Beck, who served as interim CPD director after Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Eddie Johnson, virtually abolished the qualification system in late 2019.After Brown was appointed as permanent director a few months later, he Chicago sun times The merit promotion system will not come back under his leadership.

“I was looking for another way to create diversity in a way that was far more appreciated than the merit system,” Brown added at the time.

CPD Revives Controversial “Merit Promotion” System

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