Oak Park Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8 Statement on RES 20-201
By ILFOPLC, Staff - Wednesday, August 26, 2020
The members of Oak Park Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8 thank the members of the city council for the opportunity to address you this evening.
The resolution before you to defund the Oak Park Police Department is misguided, dangerous and discriminatory. It takes the men and women of this department, who have a much lower rate of citizen complaints than surrounding departments, and lumps us in the same category as those departments that ignited the racial unrest that has swept our nation.
We go above and beyond to fairly and equally serve and protect all citizens of this great community, and this resolution treats us as though our knees were used in that unspeakable crime committed against George Floyd. The resolution punishes your fellow public servants for a crime committed in another state.
We all saw what happened in Chicago when organized criminals decided to loot businesses at will. We share a border with Chicago. Defunding the Oak Park Police Department will have the same effect as hanging an “open for crime” sign at our village limits.
This is our home as well as yours. These houses and businesses belong to us and our fellow citizens. This resolution scares us as Oak Park residents. We want to protect our community, but we can't effectively do so if you defund us. Talk to your constituents, especially the ones who quietly go about their law-abiding lives every day. Ask them if they truly want less protection for the homes and businesses for which they have proudly worked hard their entire lives.
The people who need the police the most are those who live in higher-crime areas. This often means communities of color. Reducing our police force will mean less protection for the very men, women and children this resolution claims to speak for. More people, not less, will suffer if you go through with this.
Finally, this resolution specifically targets a group of citizens because of the color of uniform they wear. It ignores everything they have done to serve you and your constituents and assumes they are bad people simply because they wear a badge. What do you call a proposal that unfairly singles out a particular group of people? We hope you will call it defeated this evening.