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Chicago mayor to new recruits: ‘I will always have your back’

Lori Lightfoot’s speech during a graduation and promotion ceremony was met with criticism from the PD, the city’s leaders and fallen officers’ family members

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot.jpg

Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

By Sarah Calams

CHICAGO — During a Chicago Police Department graduation and promotion ceremony on Tuesday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told officers that she will always have their back during her speech to new officers and newly promoted detectives, FTOs, captains and evidence technicians.

“Our residents and our city need your skillful, courageous and rapid response. I know how big of a responsibility this is. But I want you to also know that, as mayor of this city, I will always have your back,” Lightfoot said during the ceremony.

In addition, Lightfoot also said she would ensure officers are provided “with the best training, with the best resources to make sure that you are able to do your job, and when you need that extra support, that you have the resources that you need to heal,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

However, Chicago aldermen continue to press Lightfoot for a time off ordinance for Chicago officers, which would ensure officers get one day off each week. The legislation is a direct result of multiple CPD officers dying by suicide this year. A recent CBS special highlighted the department’s mental health crisis and what leaders can do to provide better mental health support for its officers.

“This is a very important piece of legislation to show the men and women of the Chicago Police Department that we’re trying to take off some of the load,” alderman Matt O’Shea told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The widow of Jeff Troglia, a Chicago officer who died by suicide in March 2021, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Lightfoot “has not even begun to have their backs.”

“We are families of loved ones who have lost their life due to the horrific conditions that these men and women are working under,” Troglia said. “Conditions that have been condoned by her administration. If she really wants to have their back and make a real change for them, she needs to have a conversation with our families.”