Mayoral candidate Gery Chico speaks to a crowd at the Fraternal Order of Police - Chicago Lodge 7 on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: February 22, 2011 9:56AM
Mayoral candidate Gery Chico nabbed the endorsement Wednesday of the Chicago Police union, with leadership liking his plan to add 2,000 officers to the force and to stay away from their pensions.
“Gery Chico understands what Chicago needs,” said Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police - Chicago Lodge 7, which represents about 17,000 active and retired Chicago cops. He added that plans to hire officers and tackle the public school system are important to police.
“It would be nice to have a mayor that will fight right alongside with them by providing the resources to get the job done,” he said from the FOP headquarters at 1412 W. Washington.
The mayoral candidate endorsement is the group’s first in more than a decade.
Pension reform was a key factor in the choice. Donahue said Chico and Rahm Emanuel were “neck and neck” in voting by the rank-and-file membership a few weeks ago.
Then word hit that Emanuel is leaning toward cutting the pension of current employees. The FOP board voted unanimously for Chico after the rank and file voted in a close tally to endorse Chico over Emanuel.
Cheryl V. Jackson