CPD deputy chief: Cops are “lucky” department hasn’t canceled everyone’s Labor Day holiday

The deputy chief in charge of Area One this week told leaders under his command that cops are “lucky” that the Chicago Police Department did not cancel everyone’s days off for Labor Day weekend.

In an email, Frederick Melean told command staff that the only way to ensure holidays aren’t canceled in the future is to rigorously restrict the amount of time off they give to officers in their districts.

“No watch should be over 15%,” Melean wrote. “If you need to lower that for your District, that is up to you.”

Melean sent his email on Monday morning, about an hour before CPD Supt. David Brown told reporters that the department would not cancel any officer’s day off on Labor Day. It also came within hours of the city’s Inspector General confirming that over 1,100 cops were scheduled to work 11 or more days in a row during April and May.

But as CWBChicago reported earlier this week, the department is, in fact, canceling days off on Labor Day for officers in some units.

One day after Brown spoke, the department announced a new day off cancelation policy that explicitly said the department could cancel all days off for Labor Day and other major holidays.

Shortly before Christmas last year, Melean told his command staff that it was “too bad” that cops wanted to take time off for the holidays.

“We all missed holidays in our careers,” he wrote.

Melean then enjoyed vacation days from Christmas to New Year’s Eve, according to CPD records.

In 2020, Melean was on vacation from December 18 to December 28 and on furlough for Thanksgiving from November 23 to November 30, the records show.

Earlier this year, Melean sent a written order to officers under his command to target drivers in Chinatown who don’t appear to be residents of the neighborhood.

Upon being informed of Melean’s traffic order, Brown said it was “poorly written and should not have gone out.”

“I will personally be speaking with those involved in the dissemination of this memo to counsel them regarding appropriate policies and procedures,” the superintendent said at the time.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com