Supt. Johnson Explains Why He Did Not Fire A Commander For Having Officer Pick-Up, Watch Child

Bernie Tafoya
January 17, 2019 - 2:18 pm
Eddie Johnson

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson is explaining why he suspended and did not fire a senior police official for having officers regularly pick up the commander's child from school and returned to the police station.

The city’s Inspector General recommended the high-ranking police official be fired for having officers pick up his child from school on most Wednesdays for several months and have the child brought to the police station. The school was also outside that police district.

Supt. Eddie Johnson gave the official a 7-day suspension because the official is the single parent of a special needs child. He said he looked at the totality of the incident.

"Is what he did wrong? Yeah. But, I will say this too.  He’s a single parent having to care for a special needs child," Johnson said.

Supt. Johnson said he was once a single parent and also has had personal experience with a special needs child.

"You don’t just throw people away because they make a mistake. You discipline them and you move on," he said.

The Superintendent said his command level staff work 60-70 hours a week, often with no days off, "and they have to balance that with the pressures of trying to raise a child."

Johnson said he cannot and would not publicly name the official because the child is "highly functional" and might see this story and think he did something wrong.