Superintendent To Recruits: Hang Onto Your Non-Cop Friends, 'They Keep You Normal'

Bernie Tafoya
July 07, 2020 - 2:51 pm
CPD Graduates

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Related: Supt. Brown To Critics: 'I'm Not Going Anywhere'

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- After four months away from the Chicago Police Academy because of the pandemic, probationary officers are back and getting life advice from the new police superintendent.

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Police Supt. David Brown told the 87 probationary officers this week that policing can take an emotional toll on them — and that it’s important for them to maintain a balanced life.

"Keep your non-police friends, non-police family members. Hang around them a lot. They keep you normal,” he advised.

"If you don’t, you’ll likely start thinking the world is like everything I experience on a 9-1-1 call or an arrest or a protest, that that’s the world’s opinion. That’s a small slice of the world’s opinion."

Supt. Brown told new officers that the job they signed up might involve them having to respond to the murder of a 7-year-old girl and all the emotion that surrounds that. He said then they’ll have to respond to another call right after that and maintain their professionalism. 

"You got to be nearly flawless in this profession right now. You have to be, not just physically fit, but emotionally fit," Brown said.

Recruits should do what’s important to them off-the-job, whether it’s going to church or having hobbies like hunting or fishing, he said.

"Stay humble, stay human and use your discretion,” he said.

The probationary officers have six weeks left to finish training at the newly reopened academy. They're expected to finish Aug. 21.

Among the pandemic-related precautions being taken during the final weeks of training are wearing masks and gloves when they cannot be physically distant and having their temperatures checked as they enter the academy.