More than 450 off-duty police, family members, friends and Naperville residents rallied to show support for the six city police officers laid off last week.
The layoff announcement came just days after the city and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) reached a contract agreement following 18 months of negotiation.
The group marched from Centennial Park to City Hall to send a message.
“A lot of people are upset and angry that the city has let six of their officers go,” said Tamara Cummings, General Council for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council. “So we’re hoping that City Council will see that the community is not happy, and we’re hoping that perhaps they’ll reconsider their decision.”
“I think letting off police officers is a bad mistake,” said Janice Groenewold, a Naperville resident. “That doesn’t mean crime’s going to stop. Maybe it will wake up whoever needs to be woken up to see that they made a mistake.”
“The more I dug into it, the more disappointed I was in the city council,” said Jay Duffy, a Naperville resident. “It seems like these guys should be serving the community and now they’re playing politics. I think it’s pretty rotten to fire police officers when we are so far below the national average.”
The group stopped outside city hall where they continued their picket, before piling into the council chambers to confront city councilmen.
“Safety should never be compromised,” said James Small, a Naperville resident.
After more than an hour of public comments, it was the city council’s turn.
After some discussion of public safety versus city budget needs, the council tabled the discussion until after the November 30th budget meeting to vote on reducing the police force.
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