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Chicago police superintendent announces retirement


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  • Chicago police superintendent announces retirement


    CHICAGO - Chicago police Superintendent Philip J. Cline on Monday announced his retirement as the department deals with a scandal over two highly publicized videotaped beatings involving off-duty police officers.

    The department was vilified last month after bar surveillance footage that police said showed an off-duty officer pummeling a female bartender half his size was broadcast worldwide. And last week, six other officers were stripped of police powers after they were accused of beating four businessmen in a bar.

    That confrontation also was caught on surveillance video, but police have not released the footage.

    Cline, 57, who had been expected to retire later this year, made the announcement at a brief news conference and took no questions from reporters. He said he told Mayor Richard M. Daley of his intention Monday morning, and would stay on until the city found a replacement.

    Cline, named superintendent in 2003 after Terry Hillard retired, said Daley had "given me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the best police department in the country, and I thank him for that."

    To the city's police officers, he said: "I encourage all of them to rise above any controversy and stay focused on the mission."

    At a separate news conference, Daley said the city would undertake a national search for Cline's replacement.

    He said he was angered by the actions of the police officers allegedly involved in the beatings, calling the incidents "unacceptable."

    "We hold our police officers to a higher standard than the average citizen and rightly so," he said.

    "The vast majority of Chicago police officers are dedicated, hard working professional men and women who perform their jobs diligently every day," Daley said. "Unfortunately, the actions of just a few officers," can tarnish the department's image.

    Daley also criticized how police handled the incidents, saying the department moved too slowly to take action against the officers allegedly involved.

    But the mayor also insisted he did not ask Cline to leave. He said Cline told him a year ago that he planned to retire in 2007.

    "After four years, that's a tough, tough job," Daley said. "He decided it was his time to go."

    Police have been criticized for waiting a month to arrest Anthony Abbate _ a 12-year veteran allegedly seen on video punching, kicking and throwing 24-year-old bartender Karolina Obrycka to the floor after she reportedly refused to continue serving him drinks. Obrycka suffered bruises to her head, neck, back and lower body, according to her attorney, Terry Ekl.

    Abbate initially was charging with a misdemeanor, but last month he was charged with a felony. Police also have faced allegations that someone tried to bribe and then threaten the woman to keep her from pressing charges.

    Cline announced last week that the six officers accused of assaulting the businessmen in a bar had been taken off street duty for their alleged role in the Dec. 15 altercation. Police were called to the scene, but a sergeant who was among the officers involved in the fight waved them off, Cline said.

    News of that beating, also caught on bar surveillance video, surfaced after the Abbate incident became public.

    Cline had vowed to change the way the department responds to allegations of misconduct, including moving faster to get officers accused of misconduct off the street.

    During Monday's news conference, Cline did not say what role the incidents played in his announcement, only referring to them obliquely as "these times of challenge."

    But in recent days, Cline has clearly been embarrassed by the incidents. He said Abbate "tarnished our image worse than anybody else in the history of the department," and after the second incident said he was "disgusted to witness this type of conduct" by officers.

    In his brief statement on Monday, Cline also alluded to another embarrassing incident: the apparent effort by police officers to help Abbate enter and leave a court building without having to face the media outside.

    That incident caused an outcry in the media about the way police officers protect fellow officers who have broken the law, and Cline talked about the media's complaints about the so-called "blue line."

    "There is a blue line and it's the line that Chicago police officers walk every day to separate the criminals from the good citizens," he said Monday.

    Cline also stressed the improvements the department of 13,500 officers and 3,000 civilians made under his leadership.

    "Three and a half years ago, Chicago was the homicide capital of the country," he said. "Mayor Daley gave me a mandate as the new police superintendent to reduce homicides and shootings and to make Chicago the safest big city in America. Since that time the men and women of the police department have answered that call."

    Cline was born in Chicago and grew up on the city's North Side. He began his police career as a cadet in 1968. His first beat was in the tough Cabrini-Green housing projects in 1970, and he was promoted to detective in 1972.

    After stints in the narcotics section and organized crime division, he was named chief of detectives in 2001 and first deputy superintendent two years later.

  • #2
    sounds like he had a nice career, maybe they need

    joey arpaio or nick navarro up their !!!....
    " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
    " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....


    • #3
      WOW!.......just last week I could've sworn he was adament (sp?) about not resigning and staying on.


      • #4
        I'm not all that surprised, he only stayed on as a favor to the mayor anyhow.

        83.9 on the Jeff Co. test! Woohoo!


        • #5
          There's always drama in the windy city.
          -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.



          • #6
            anyone who thinks they are still relevant after 37 years of anything is probably kidding himself
            10% of the cops do 90% of the work


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