02/14/2008

Chicago top cop to rookies: It's about integrity

By Fran Spielman
The Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — Dressed in uniform for the first time, newly appointed Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis warned police graduates Wednesday to maintain the integrity needed to build community trust.

"Nothing erodes our credibility, integrity and honor faster than allegations of misconduct, brutality or disrespect on any level. It destroys the core of this department's mission and our ability to foster community trust," Weis told 47 graduates and their families gathered in the grand ballroom at Navy Pier.

"Never compromise your integrity. Without integrity, your training from the academy, the uniform you wear and the star you hold is meaningless. ... Honesty and respect give you the support of the community. This is one of your best crime-fighting tools."

Wednesday, Weis presided over his first graduation ceremony. He used the opportunity to send a message to the rookies: Fighting crime and building community trust go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other.

"No law enforcement agency can succeed without accurate and timely intelligence, and you will learn that the members of the community are your best source of information," Weis said.

He advised the rookies to treat the residents they serve the way they would want a member of their own family to be treated by a police officer.

"If you are guided by that principle, you will never go wrong," he said.

Copyright 2008 The Chicago Tribune

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