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chat a couple of years after retiring. “They had been through the riots after the Dr. King assassination and the Democratic Na- tional Convention. They said they had never seen it this bad. I’m thinking, ‘What the hell did I run for this spot for?’”
A man for all members
Settling a new contract turned out to be the manifestation of why Dean ran. Bella explained why he needed to be the presi- dent.
“I think it was one of those deals where he had the perfect personality for the time,” Bella continued. “He had a calming effect that got everything back in order. He wasn’t a dictator. He led by committee. He never rolled over anybody or shut any- body up. He listened to everything, then took the best of it and went forward.”
Bella also noted one of Dean’s influences came with raising diversity in the FOP. Casiano had originally been tapped to run Dean’s campaign, but his ability to lead and represent Hispanic officers in the Department made him a great choice to be on the ticket as first vice president. He added Marlon Harvey and Keith
Carter as African American field reps.
“He believed the FOP should look like the roll call room,” Bel-
la detailed. “And he followed through with that.”
Perhaps Dean was the right man for the job because he had
the experience. Or perhaps it was because he knew members deserved more than they were getting out of the union at the time.
Casiano submits that Dean’s ability and desire to relate to every member is what righted the ship. According to Casiano, Dean knew what it was like to be down at the bottom and work his way up to the top. He described Dean’s greatness as knowing how to have a slice of pizza and a beer all they way up to having fine wine.
“He knew how to look at things from different perspectives,” Casiano added. “There’s things I could never talk about because you had to be in the room to see how he dealt with officers in need. It’s not something I could duplicate. It’s Dean being Dean. He would always say, ‘What can we do tomorrow to make sure the officer is going to be fine?’ And not only the officer, but his family, too.”
    Lifelong Chicagoan representing those who serve and protect since 2008.
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