CHICAGO
06/30/2011 05:37 pm ET Updated Aug 30, 2011

Chicago Police Officers Win 24-Hour 'Cooling Off' Period Post-Shooting

Though the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) had previously required any Chicago police officers involved in a shooting to talk with investigators within two hours of the incident, the officers' union has won the lengthier, 24-hour "cooling-off" period it had pushed for following a Wednesday arbitration.

According to Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden, who spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times, the 24 hour period is necessary because of the traumatizing effect being involved in a shooting can have on an officer. The number of such incidents involving officers has been on the rise lately, up 50 percent from 36 citywide in 2006 to 54 last year. In the three months of 2011, there were 11 police-involved shootings in Chicago.

The arbitrator also ruled that any post-shooting conversation between an officer and investigators needs to take place within 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., allowing for a "proper sleep cycle."

According to the IPRA's 2010 report (PDF), their agency's "roundtable" discussions occurring within two hours of a shooting incident had been well-received by agency investigators, Chicago Police Department members and representatives alike. "Both [groups] indicated that interviewing the officer in full more close to the time of the incident resulted in a better interview," the report read. FOP was the only entity not in favor of the roundtables as they were previously conducted.

Officers may still speak to IPRA immediately after a shooting if they wish, but will not longer be forced to do so under the new agreement. They will continue to be required to check in with an CPD incident commander on site, though this conversation lacks the potential to lead to any criminal charges, unlike the IPRA meeting, as the Sun-Times pointed out.