Cook County Sheriff’s Office Targeted Initiatives
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office will be responsive and engaged at every level and department. This endeavor will provide for the finest law enforcement and civil services to the citizens of Cook County. The Sheriff’s Office, unlike any other law enforcement agency, is one of the largest agencies in the country and is unique in its mission of public safety. I will always lead the Sheriff’s Office with the highest regard for integrity, transparency, and commitment to the citizens of Cook County regardless of status and without bias.
As a law enforcement practitioner my guiding principle will always be to ask, “How does this affect the citizens of Cook County and how does it affect the officer walking a tier but most importantly how does that transfer to those placed in our charge”.
My goal is to revitalize and prepare the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for the next decade through strong leadership, innovative initiatives, and sound thoughtful fiscal responsibility.
Following are a list of my targeted initiatives and priorities when in office:
1) Budgetary Analysis
I will conduct a comprehensive budgetary analysis in order to identify where resources can be reallocated. The goal will be to distribute funds where there is a greater need allowing a more cost-effective budget while prioritizing control of wasteful expenditures.
2) Electronic Monitoring Program (EM)
The Electronic Monitoring program (EM) is overburdened and overly relied on in reducing the physical jail population and is not being appropriately utilized as intended for non-violent offenders.
The EM program will be re-examined and revitalized to perform at an optimal level with the safety of the public as the cornerstone of its mission. The EM program will be fully staffed and operate within its capabilities while ensuring for the dignity and respect of every individual participating in the program.
I will convene a Blue-Ribbon working advisory group in order to conduct a systems analysis of the EM program which will include community leaders of impacted communities, experts in systems analysis of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratories, and law enforcement practitioners in partnership with the Cook County Chief Judge and States Attorney’s Offices.
3) Hiring and Retention
One of the largest expenditures of the Sheriff’s Office is the hiring and retention of qualified officers. I will initiate an aggressive hiring and retention program in order to attract and retain very well qualified, committed, and motivated officers from communities that are disproportionately impacted by high crime.
I will examine and evaluate the Sheriff’s Office staffing structure in order to make changes where necessary. This may take the reassigning and/or reorganization of the office into a fiscally responsible and flexible organization that can quickly respond to system and personnel demands.
I endeavor to hire up to 150 new officers above the currently budgeted number. This is after a thorough analysis through the anticipated reorganization and reallocation of the Sheriff’s personnel budget. Further, in order to bring forth qualified applicants, I intend to offer varied hiring incentives to new applicants and offer retention incentives to highly qualified officers.
4) Open and Frank Communications with Bargaining Units
I will engage bargaining units in frank and open discussions on improving safety and work conditions of all officers and staff. As honorable people we must uphold our agreements to the best of our abilities and work for the common goal of providing the citizens of Cook County a healthy, professional, and dedicated work force.
I will invest in our most valuable resources and expand the Peer Support Program in order to address the stresses experienced by officers and staff. My commitment is to improve the workplace environment by building a positive and healthy work-life balance and therefor creating a better quality of life.
5) Population Referred by the Courts
I will re-evaluate all programs related to the care, custody, and rehabilitative functions of all individuals referred to the Sheriff’s Office by the courts. Programs that show positive substantive quantifiable results and value to individuals will be kept and improved. Programs that fail to show substantive quantifiable results will be eliminated. Where there have been shown to be a need for a specific program, it will be initiated after thoughtful analysis, viability, and a budgetary sustainment criteria.
6) Mobile Crime Reduction Task-Force
I will establish a Mobile Crime Reduction Taskforce that will be responsible for addressing areas of high crime and emerging crime trends throughout the County. Municipalities and unincorporated areas within the County, will be integral to its successful operation in targeting communities that are in need of additional Sheriff’s Office resources. This task-force will be comprised of civil services, law enforcement, mental health professionals, court and probation services, along with business and community leaders.