CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Just three weeks into the New Year and already more than 200 people have been shot in Chicago.
It’s hard to pinpoint the reason for the uptick in violence, but some point to fewer stops by police officers. And part of the problem there could be the new paper work officers have to fill out after every contact.
"This isn't going to work the way they thought,” said FOP President Dean Angelo.
Angelo is talking about the 'Investigatory Stop Report,' which requires two pages of information on every person stopped by Chicago police, whether they're arrested or not.
The form replaced the old contact cards on the first of the year.
FOX 32: How does this compare to the old contact card?
"It’s heads and tails more involved. It's like reading the Cliff's notes as opposed to the novel,” Angelo said.
Angelo says it's taking some officers as long as a half hour to fill out the new report, which means if they stop four known gangbangers for questioning, it's two hours of paperwork.
And he says officers are just now getting trained on how to fill out the reports.
"It's really cumbersome. It's more involved than any other document I think than any other department in the nation uses for street contact,” Angelo said.
The new forms are part of a settlement between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union, which says Chicago police were routinely conducting illegal stops and searches.
"It provides supervision to a very invasive encounter between civilians and the police where there has been no supervision in the past,” said ACLU Karen Sheley.
Since the change took effect January 1, the number of police contacts with potential suspects has dropped 70 percent. There’s also been a drop in the number of arrests and guns recovered.
The FOP says that's not a coincidence.
"I would look at this document as the department is looking at me to not be proactive out there,” Angelo said.
But the ACLU says the new longer form is a small price to pay given the broken relationship between police and the public.
"It's an incredibly important piece of the change we need to see in this city to repair the damage that's been done between the police and the community,” Sheley said.
A Chicago police spokesman acknowledges the new investigatory stop report is taking longer to complete, but says they believe new training that's underway will speed the process.
Some of the new information collected on these new forms is required by a new state law. But Chicago’s forms ask for even more information than that.