DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Response to calls to end all programs with CPD

Response to calls to end all programs with CPD

Chicago skyline
(DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)
​​In recent days, we have been asked to sever ties with the Chicago Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police. Our ties to these organizations are limited to programs that involve teaching. Student petitions have requested DePaul stop offering courses to CPD officers. We understand this request is rooted in pain, outrage, and the desire to take a stand against police brutality. We need to remember though, the actions of a few do not represent the students we teach. With permission, I quote an email I received from a student in the Police Officer student cohort:

“As I read the message we just received from the dean [the message was about the call by some to sever ties] I sit here in tears while still on patrol. I am devastated. I want nothing more than to live in a just world for all. One officer's actions or even that of some of my own department members do not speak to the person I am and the values that I am instilling in my children. My daughter is currently actively participating in rallies throughout the city. As a CPD Latina I am proud to be who I am and for the past 12 years have worked tirelessly throughout my career to make a difference and I can bet my life savings that many officers in our cohort share the same feelings.

“While my tears may not replace those of mothers grieving the loss of child by a senseless killing at the death by an officer, what I write today I write with pain in my heart.

“I hope and pray that these students get to know our stories and our side. Besides wearing the uniform I proudly wear, I will always be a Latina, who was once a high school dropout, young mother, and here I am today proudly serving and protecting our city."

Our university is dedicated to providing students an education imbued with Vincentian values of social justice and transforming society to serve the most vulnerable. We are called to provide access to high-quality education to all.

Black Lives Matter. We know George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Laquan McDonald and so many others should still be alive. We also know education can be part of making the change we all want to see in police departments. We support all who are working to make police reform a reality.