We're not in the business of politics around here but I'd be an ass for not blogging this news.
Eddie Johnson retires today just a few weeks removed from being found in his car "sleeping" and definitely not passed out from mixing alocohol and prescription medicine. Or something like that.
Whatever the truth - it's enough stink for Lori Lightfoot to start her search sooner than anticipated and with that comes the end to a 31 year career that started as a fucking patrolman.
Now before I continue, please do me a favor and think about your buddy that wears a blue shirt for the CPD every day. Now imagine 3 decades from now he's the #1 guy at the department making hundreds of thousands a year running the country's 2nd largest police force. A true face in national law enforcement.
I'm curious - how does your buddy climb the ranks?
Does he have more ambition than the average patrolman? Is he political and well conntected? Or would he work harder behind the scenes and naturally move up the chain of command?
Maybe he goes the detective route. Or maybe he gets a masters from DePaul and plays the administration angle.
Whatever the route, we can all agree that your buddy is taking Career Steps. The same buddy that's the Miller Lite drinking, salt-of-the-earth friend for life who is so fucking proud to wear the uniform.
Really think about him.
And now that I've got you thinking, let me throw some numbers your way. There's about 13,000 Chicago Police Officers with a huge number of that in the patrol bureau. Since 2017 the Department has added almost 2,000 new officers. Objectively a very large pond to be a small fish as a new patrolman. So remember that when you think about your buddy.
Now go back to 1988. Eddie Johnson starts as a patrolman. One of thousands out doing his thing protecting and serving.
Fast forward 28 years later. The CPD is upside down. Public appeal in absolute turmoil. The Democratic National Party's hand-picked guy is failing. Rahm needs to make a move:
Back in March 2016, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Johnson as the city's top cop, ignoring three candidates recommended by the police board. Johnson hadn’t even applied for the job.
From patrolman to sector sergeant to promotion after promotion within the ranks. To deputy chief to bureau chief to literally the point where you can't promote him anymore without making him the #1. There's no more promotions. And when rubber met the road he didn't even apply for the fucking job. Didn't even want the spotlight or the controversy or the salary or anything. Guy just wants to be good police.
You can argue statistics (they declined under his time) and internal corruption and civil settlements. Argue the mounting class divide and systemic issues rooted in our law enforcement. Argue we flat out suck and tell me it's all Eddie's fault because he's the one in charge.
You can argue that all you want without my interruption.
Just do me a favor - one last time I need you to think about your Patrolman buddy and do the thing where you picture him being the top cop. Picture him ascending the ranks just like Eddie Johnson to take the role at one of the ugliest times in department history. Think about all that shit and answer a final question.
How much respect has your buddy earned along the way?
A lot? More than anyone you know? A fuck ton?
However much it is down the road, be a decent guy today and show Eddie that same respect. He's earned it.