Top Chicago cop terminates training deal with Texas firm linked to former superintendent

The city of Chicago’s top police deputy has been paid more than $1.3 million to train police officers and plans to end the department’s ties with a Texas company owned by a colleague of the city’s former police superintendent.

The firm, Professional Law Enforcement Training, is led by Byron Boston, who worked for the Dallas Police Department with Fred Waller’s predecessor, David Brown.

“We were aware of the training agreement with CPD and PLET and the significant costs associated with it,” Waller said Friday, the police department’s executive director of constitutional police and reform, who has played an influential role in the Brown Police Department. I wrote in a brief email to Tina Skahill. management.

“Today, please send a letter to PLET notifying them that CPD will no longer need their services as of June 1, 2023,” Waller said in a message obtained by The Sun-Times through a public records request. added.

A ministry spokesman confirmed the directive was being implemented.

Brown and Boston signed an “indemnification agreement” with PLET in February 2021, according to records obtained by The Sun-Times. Their signatures have been redacted, but their titles are included in the document.

Under the agreement, on PLET letterhead, the company will receive $16,500 a month for one year to conduct training with a broad focus on drug investigation and manipulation, gun trafficking, undercover operations, street gang investigations, and more. was becoming

The training was to be conducted in three 2-day sessions each month.

In addition to the $198,000 total work, the department also had the option to pay $4,950 for each additional training session, according to the agreement.

Law enforcement officials said the agreement was covered using forfeited proceeds, or money and other assets seized in connection with criminal investigations.

According to the city’s compensation portal, PLET has received more than $1.1 million in other payments since April 2022, noting that some checks have not been cashed. Those payments are related to another deal to help provide existing police officers with 40 hours of training a year, the officials said.

The largest payouts listed on the portal ($278,250, $108,450 and $247,650) were made between February 23rd and May 10th of this year.

Brown announced he would step down as Superintendent on March 1, the day after his biggest supporter, former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, was defeated. He stayed until March 16, after which he got a job at a personal injury law firm in Texas.

Brown and Boston did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Training is at the heart of a federal consent order mandating sweeping reforms in police following the police killing of 17-year-old Laquan MacDonald.

A police spokesperson acknowledged that it is “crucial to efforts to provide officers with the tools and resources they need to perform their duties fairly, effectively and constitutionally.”

“To meet our consent statute obligations and to ensure that our employees receive the required 40 hours of in-service training, the department utilizes a variety of training vendors,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to review our training resources and make adjustments as necessary as we meet our training requirements.”

The latest Consent Order Progress Report, issued last December, warned that staffing increases and personnel issues continue to hamper the ministry’s progress.

The issue was particularly central to Mr. Brown’s decision to remove former Reform Chief Robert Boyk, who said he would transfer nearly 50 police officers from his office to the Circuit Bureau. He criticized his decision and was dismissed in August.

Mr. Boyk was quickly replaced by Mr. Skahir, the former head of the Home Office. Mr. Skahill became a close ally of Mr. Brown after Mr. Brown returned to the Home Office as a civilian employee. She told her colleagues that she was applying to be her supervisor.

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