Robert McKay (write-in)

A retired city worker, McKay worked of the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) and later was an investigator at the Office of Fire Investigation. He has also served as safety director and fire marshal at Providence Hospital.

In 1995 while working at the CFD, McKay was part of a group of firefighters who challenged discriminatory hiring practices that prevented Black applicants from being hired. That effort ultimately resulted in a 2009 Supreme Court decision that ordered lower courts to provide relief for affected applicants. In 2021, McKay was involved in an effort overturn the CFD’s decision to remove a specialized fire engine with a “tower ladder” for reaching high-rise apartments from a firehouse at 79th and Stony Island. The department ultimately decided to move the fire engine to another station at 118th and Michigan, a move McKay describes as it having been improperly allocated.

“It is my intention to use the authority vested in this new citizen’s review panel to highlight and compel the city to respond quickly and effectively to instances of malfeasance and or criminal conduct when it comes to public safety in the delivery of police and fire services,” McKay told the Reader.

Democracy for America has endorsed.

Activist or organizer Credit: Amber Huff
Political endorsement Credit: Amber Huff
Supports more police accountability Credit: Amber Huff

Candidate questionnaire responses:

Do you have experience as an activist or community organizer? Yes
Do you have experience interacting with CPD? Yes
Do you have experience working or interacting with government? Yes
Should the city hire more police officers? No
Is CPD adequately funded? Yes: funding should stay about the same.
CPD reform: The police need significant reform.
Mental health crises: Police should accompany healthcare workers to mental health crises.

What do you consider the primary role of a police district councilor to be?

Establishing civilian control of the police
Communicating with the department on behalf of the community

Why are you running for Police District Council?

I am running as a write-in candidate the 5th Police District in the City of Chicago.because a retired police officer, William McMahon, backed by a legal firm based in Evergreen Park, decided that the residents of the 5th district did not deserve to have the opportunity to evaluate the merits of my credentials and my overall worthiness to serve our community in the capacity of a watchdog over the quality and character of the delivery city services as they to relate to public safety in our community.

Employment status, race and mental health issues seem to determine police reaction in the 5th District. A uniform Code of Conduct of respect by the police within the 5th District should be established, similar to the Boy Scout Law!

According to the citizen Police Data Project, There are 1,834 officers in District 5 with a total of 4,645 complaints/allegations filed against the 5th district CPD, of the total 3,900 were filed by citizens 745 were filed internally by the police.

These issues can be quickly addressed by complying with the Consent Decrees issued for the Chicago Police Department and requiring mandatory basic policing Civic Classes to promote civic accountability for Police Officers, citizens attending CAPS meetings, and detainees while in custody to ensure a better understanding of civic responsibilities for all parties.

With an effective elected oversight council representing the 5th District, we will make the required decisions to eliminate police misconduct, Period!

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