Jody Weis may be Chicago’s highest ranking police officer as superintendent, but he doesn’t have the respect that comes with the job.
The head honcho and ex FBI agent had problems with the officers he was hired to lead from the very start.
There is a laundry list of complaints police have cited against their big boss that express complete dissatisfaction with his overall performance.
The first problem for the force: the way Weis was hired. He wasn’t hired from within, but from the outside, so no one knew anything about him. The last time an outsider was hired–50 years ago. First red flag.
Let’s talk about his salary. As police superintendent he makes a whopping $310,000 a year, far more than his predecessors. In a time when the mayor was trying to find money to hire more recruits, add to that a shortage of manpower, this was a bone of contention for some on the force.
Then there was Weis’ choice to sport a Chicago police uniform. This angered officers because Weis had no experience out on the streets, never paying his dues as a beat cop like the troops he commanded. There just was no connection to the former FBI agent who spent his life fighting crime in a different manner. More than likely, he was probably trying to be “one of the guys” and fit in.
Chicago’s finest didn’t like the way he came in like the big sheriff hitting town, cleaning house. Deep cleaning, that is. He replaced a number of people, as well as dismissed 21 out of 25 district commanders and other high officials. Weis sent them all away with their walking papers. That’s liable to get a few people upset.
In his attempt to “spiff up” the ranks, he may have forgotten protocol, desiring overweight officers get in shape before presenting it to the Union.
Perhaps the last straw was his handling of Officer William Cozi’s case. Weis got a civil rights indictment against the officer caught on video beating a man restrained to a chair. Cozi ended up getting a two-year suspension, in addition to federal prison time, which he is doing right now.
Probably the best thing for Weis is that his contract is up in March, 2011, right after the election and he will more than likely be out of a superintendent job in Chicago.
It seems Weis may have been caught in the middle. Hired by Daley, he ultimately answers to the mayor. The rank-and-file felt he was nothing but a puppet with Daley pulling the strings. Guess they were looking for a thinking man, someone a little more autonomous.
Now, with all that has happened, officer’s morale is down. They may be feeling their leader could hang them out to dry if they do the wrong thing. The Cozi case stays in their minds. And, so counting the days until he departs is what some on the police force are doing.
Of course Daley gives his appointee his stamp of approval. There must have been some reason Daley decided to go outside and hire his chief. The force has been accused of police brutality. Whatever the case may be, Weis’ days are numbered. His leaving will more than likely be a relief to both Weis and the Chicago police department.
“He’s done a very good job and I’m very proud I appointed him,” stated Daley. “…Supt. Weis has done a tremendous job.”