CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Was the explosion of violence in the last 24 hours just a bad day in Chicago? Or is it symptomatic of the challenges facing police in this current climate.
There's no doubt that it is a challenging time to be a Chicago police officer. Rising violence combined with pressure to have more positive interactions with communities is causing stress, and has put many officers in a place where they feel there between a rock and a hard place.
FOX 32: Does the violence we saw in the last 24 hours surprise you?
“No,” said Bernard Kelly.
Kelly is a retired Chicago police officer with 28 years on the force.
FOX 32: Has there ever been more challenging time to be a Chicago officer?
“At this point, no. Right now, outside of any other time that I can remember, the streets are more violent now than ever, it's awful,” Kelly said.
FOX 32: What are some of the biggest frustrations police officers have to deal with now?
“Well we want to serve the community, we want to do our job, but we feel handcuffed everywhere we go,” he said.
FOX 32: The criminals have to realize you've got these handcuffs on you, is it emboldening them?
“Yes of course, everything that handcuffs us is a plus for the bad guy,” Kelly said.
Sixth Ward Alderman Rodrick Sawyer hopes the bad guys don't get the wrong idea.
“I'm hoping that we don't sensationalize this and make criminals emboldened to think they can commit crimes with impunity,” Sawyer said. “And they can do things that the police won't catch…I want to make sure that we give police every that we can to make them effective in their jobs.”