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After Firing Weapons, Some CPD Officers Allowed To Return To Duty Without Completing Required Training, Watchdog Finds

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The city's top watchdog has found that some Chicago police officers who fired their weapons were allowed to return to work without completing required training intended to help them process trauma.

"Due to potential negative outcomes associated with trauma, such members may be placed in circumstances that put themselves and others at risk," the city's Office of Inspector General stated in its Fourth Quarter Report for 2020.

CPD officers who fire their weapons are required to be placed on administrative duty for 30 days, participate in the department's Traumatic Incident Stress Management program, attend Critical Incident Overview training and complete an individualized training curriculum.

Officers who fire their weapon on accident, to kill a threatening animal, during training at the firing range, for ballistics tests, or while hunting are exempt.

However, the Inspector General's office found the department is not in full compliance with this policy. An evaluation of 52 officers who fired their weapons between February 2017 and May 2018 found that one did not spend the minimum of 30 calendar days on administrative duty, 10 did not complete Critical Incident Overview Training, and none completed individualized training before being allowed to return to duty.

The Inspector General's office also could not verify whether 11 officers participated in the Traumatic Incident Stress Management program before they were allowed to return to duty.

The report also found components of the department's return-to-duty process are not adequately tailored to the experiences of individual officers.

The Inspector General's Office recommended CPD develop and implement internal controls to ensure proper oversight, documentation, and tracking of the requirements for officers who fire their weapons before they're allowed to return to duty. The office also recommended CPD evaluate whether its individualized training program fulfills its intended purpose.

According to the report, CPD agreed to standardize its protocols.

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