Chicago Law Enforcement Leader To Congress: Protecting Officers From Shootings Must Be A Priority

During a hearing discussing the impact of gun violence on law enforcement, Judiciary Committee releases testimony from Angel Novalez, Chief of Constitutional Policing and Reform at the Chicago Police Department

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee released Chicago Police Department Chief of Constitutional Policing and Reform Angel Novalez’s prepared testimony during today’s hearing entitled “Law Enforcement Officer Safety: Protecting Those Who Protect and Serve.” A 21-year member of the Department, Chief Novalez previously served as deputy chief of Community Policing, the commanding officer of the Neighborhood Policing Initiative, and as a watch operations lieutenant in the 25th (Grand Central) District, as well as the commanding officer of the Procedural Justice Training Program at the Education & Training Division. He was shot and injured in the line of duty earlier in his career.

Key quotes as prepared:

“Policing is a very dangerous job… And this is one of the toughest times to wear the badge. This year alone, Chicago Police Officers have been shot at 36 times, with seven of those struck by gunfire. In the last two and a half years, our officers have taken more than 24,000 guns off the streets of Chicago.”

“Almost one year ago today [Chicago Police Department] Officer French and her partner, Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., were shot in the line of duty. Officer French lost her life to the wounds she sustained, and each day Officer Yanez and his family continue to heal from, and adapt to, his catastrophic and lasting injuries… Ella was a source of light and joy to all who knew her… Carlos continues to recover with his family and remains a source of inspiration for our Department.”

“Early in my career, my partner and I were responding to a call of a woman crying for help, we encountered an offender with a drawn gun… I felt the round before I heard the shot… The injuries sustained from this event remain with me today professionally, physically, and in the private corners of my mind. I still struggle from my wounds, as many officers around the country are struggling from the injuries they have sustained and the traumatic human experiences they witness every single day on the job.”

“Protecting those who protect us has to be a priority. I can’t help but think about Officer French and all the officers whose families have been left without them. I think about Ms. French when she shared how Ella became a police officer to make communities safer and her response to today’s hearing saying, quote, ‘It was important to Ella Grace to get as many weapons off the street as possible. Her death and that of so many other innocent people are why we must keep working to get guns off the streets. It’s a piece of the puzzle and the reason that I'm willing to be here is to help something good come out of the death of my dear Ella Grace French.’” 

Full text of Chief Novalez’s prepared remarks are available here 

Full hearing on the impact of gun violence on law enforcement can be watched live here; on Twitter here; and on Facebook here.