Chicago rallies for overworked police officers with ‘Operation Backup’

Midwest

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — After days of 12-hour shifts and cancelled leave, Chicago police officers need some help. One group of former officers is coming together to give it to them.

Former detective chief Eugene Roy helps run a Facebook group called Operation Backup, which recruits people to help do the little things that a shift like that could get in the way of.

“Our original intent was to help with the household chores is things the things around the house, childcare is a big issue,” Roy said on The Donlon Report.

He said former officers usually pitch in that way, but people outside the policing world have chipped in money and even Gatorade.

“There’s some that have told me they literally cried when they found out what people were doing what people were willing to do to help them,” Roy said. “It’s just a great thing. And it’s important, especially in these turbulent times for the officers to know that they have the support of the community.”

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown instituted the shift policy, which included cancelling officers’ planned leave, after nearly 70 people were hurt and 15 died during the week leading up to Memorial Day.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said those officers would focus on 15 areas that accounted for 50% of crime in the city.

“We are flooding these zones with resources and support for families for young people so that there are meaningful and productive activities at their fingertips,” Lightfoot said.

Roy said those types of 12-hour all-hands-on-deck shifts are uncommon outside of disasters and emergencies. It started in May, and this weekend he says it’s happening again.

“It’s an operational issue and it’s officer health and wellness issue,” Roy said. “That’s up to the city to address, it’s up to the unions who represent the officers and the supervisors to address. We’re here to help the officers and their family. That’s our priority.”

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