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Pry NORTH SUBURBAN ASSOCIATION Onion) OF CHIEFS OF POLICE et rea April 1, 2019 State’s Attorney Kim Foxx rary 69 W. Washington Geen Chicago, IL 60602 State’s Attomey Foxx, ‘The North Suburban Association of Chiefs of Police represents Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs from more than thirty North Suburban Cook County Police Department EE This membership has tasked me, as President, to express the deep concerns we have Al Socket regarding your leadership of the Cook County State’s Attorney's Office, specifically gam vel offenses, and the in the areas of felony review, non-prosecution of certain low-| handling of the recent Jussie Smollett matter DIRECTORS bon Since your election in November 2016, our membership, along with the memberships Eee of the South Suburban Association of Chiefs of Police and West Suburban Association of Chiefs of Police, has sought to work collaboratively with you and ing to the felony review process. Our shared goal is the our communities. ete your staff on issues pertai safety and well-being of all the citizens residing UML However, during your tenure, the centralized felony review process has remained Cee problematic, Police personnel receive contradictory guidance from different Assistant Dear State’s Attomeys. When the Felony Review attorneys change shifts, officers waste pre countless hours reviewing the same evidentiary facts of cases with the incoming attorneys. For suburban departments, the geographic removal of your felony review staff and lack of responsiveness to many questions strains our local resources, adding nvestigatory process and overtime expenses to our additional time to the ‘communities. Moreover, our officers must explain your decisions not to prose ctims. ‘These problems are particularly frustrating in light of the y leadership staff. ‘These our local v numerous meetings between Police and State’s Attorney meetings have had little tangible results. In addition, you have unilaterally decided not to prosecute retail thefis under $1000 asa felony (in addition to other qualifiers) despite the legislature's felony criminalization of thefts over $300. This interpreting of prosecution contrai to Illinois law sends the message to police departments and the business community that you don’t care about individual accountability. The unwritten message is the commission of retail thefts is now permissible behavior. Similarly, you unilaterally stopped prosecuting suspended and unlicensed drivers and most recently have decided not to prosecute marijuana cases, despite its current illegality. These decisions add to the continuing resource burden on police agencies. We continue, as we are required, to investigate and make arrests for these offenses for which accountability and deterrence are greatly diminished. Your office repeatedly suggests charging these crimes under local ordinance violations. Yet, non-criminal local nance violations have insufficient penalties to force compliance and do nothing to address multiple offenses in different municipalities. You and your staff argue that these are ins non-violent crimes, however the connection of both crimes in supporting larger criminal drug enterprises, often controlled by street gangs, means that many people will continue to be victimized, either directly due to losses from these crimes or in struggles, often violent, to control the larger criminal enterprises. The abrupt dropping of the 16 indictments against actor Jussie Smollet during an unannounced court hearing on March 26, 2019 is the latest and most egregious example of the failure by you and your staff to hold offenders accountable. The Chicago Police Department worked in excess of 1,700 hours investigating this false claim of a hate crime. They diverted significant resources, and a substantial portion of a limited overtime budget to build this case with your staff. To have the charges dismissed, with no explanation and a sealed court file shows a lack of respect for the professionals you work with, As executives charged with managing police operations that safeguard our communities, we ‘cannot ignore the choices you have made as the Cook County State’s Attorney and the impact it is having on our ability to reduce and deter criminal activities. It appears your strategy to address non-violent crime in Cook County is to decriminalize or ignore it, regardless of any collateral cost which is born overwhelmingly by individual communities and their police agencies. The fact that you and your staff have made these decisions without consultation with our departments undermines any statements you have made that the Cook County State's Attorney's office is working with us to maintain safe, erime free communities. Itis because of our solemn responsibility that the Police Executives in our organization have considered and passed a Vote of No Confidence in your performance of your duties as Cook County State’s Attomney, Respectfully, a — Duane Mellema, President North Suburban Association of Chiets of Police