On Thursday, June 23, Teamsters Local 700 was questioned by multiple media outlets regarding the released videos by Sheriff Dart. The videos showed officers being attacked by inmates and were released yesterday morning. President Becky Strzechowski sent a response to CBS channel 2 and Local 700 Business Agent Dennis Andrews was interviewed by NBC channel 5.
Below is President Strzechowski’s response to Channel 2, which wasn’t even mentioned on the 5 p.m. news broadcast.
We would like to commend the Sheriff for finally posting these videos (per our officers’ requests) of attacks on officers by detainees at the Cook County Department of Corrections, but we want the public to know these videos represent only a small fraction of the approximately 1,900 assaults and batteries committed on officers since 2011. Within the past three months alone, 50 officers have gone on duty injury as a result of a detainee attack. More than ten of those cases were 911 emergencies where the officers involved were taken to local hospitals in an ambulance for immediate treatment.
We encourage the Sheriff to be more transparent about the dangerous working conditions at the jail and ask that he also release the video of the recent riot in Division 2.
We feel this is a step in the right direction but call on the Sheriff to protect the privacy of all the officers at the jail. We ask that the Sheriff take increased steps in providing a safe and secure environment for the staff by working together with the union to rectify the ongoing violence at the Cook County Department of Corrections against our officers.
Teamsters Local 700 President
Below is the link to the NBC piece that aired last night on the 5 p.m. news. Though the station couldn’t broadcast the entire 20 minute interview of Dennis Andrews, we are waiting for the full tape that we can share with you.
A few clips of what you didn’t see: