Page 19 - November 2021
P. 19

stant. According to a recently released statistic published by the FBI, 60,105 law enforcement officers across the nation were assaulted while performing their duties in 2020. These numbers are staggering. Yet the public rarely seems to care — unless, of course, an officer is killed in the line of duty.
At the National Police Memorial, current Chicago Po- lice Superintendent David Brown showed his respect to the Chicago families in attendance who were still grieving their losses. I have no doubt that Superintendent Brown’s condo- lences and support to the families are sincere and genuine. However, I could not help but question the commitment (or lack thereof) that the Chicago Police Department shows those 12,000 active police officers who do not know their fate on any given day. Posthumous accolades do little to address the current working conditions which the men and women of the Chicago Police Department must endure when reporting for their watches. This column, as well as in the others found throughout this magazine since its inception in 2017, high- lights the blatant disregard the City has shown for the pro- tected rights contained in the contract between Lodge 7 and the City of Chicago. How many times has Lodge 7 taken the City to task in front of the Labor Board, in court, and in arbi- tration proceedings to show the City’s animosity towards not only the rule of law, but also against Lodge 7 as an institution? The current conflict between the mayor and the rank-and- file police officers over the vaccine mandate portal is only the latest example.
Provisions in a contract are there to be followed, not ig-
nored. Many of the provisions contained in the contract came as the result of hard-fought negotiations. Indeed, these same protections are desperately needed now more than ever, es- pecially at a time when police officers must constantly de- fend their every move.
Lodge 7 remains committed to ensuring that all parts of the contract are enforced. Lodge 7 will make sure that all its members are protected. And above all, Lodge 7 will never for- get the sacrifices of those officers who have passed.
In closing, the poem “Never Let Them Walk Alone” ends with the following stanza which perfectly summarizes our obligation to the fallen heroes:
And when their time has to pass And when the Father calls them home, There’s a bigger job that must be done. Never let them walk alone.
Finally, I wish to take a personal moment to recognize and honor the passing of former Lodge 7 President Dean C. An- gelo Sr., whom I had the privilege of working with for many years and, more importantly, the honor of calling my friend. Rest in peace, Dean. You fought a very noble fight, and now the Father has called you home. You and all the other fallen officers will never walk alone.

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