CHICAGO — Cherie Hendricks, a veteran Chicago Police Department detective, was arrested at a Louisiana Walmart on Christmas Eve for stealing $113.50 worth of reading glasses and coffee mugs.
CBS Chicago reports that she was placed into a court-ordered diversion program, typically reserved for first-time offenders.
This wasn’t Hendricks’ first incident.
Hendricks was arrested for shoplifting more than $200 worth of vitamins in 2013 at a Lakeview Whole Foods, but has not faced any discipline. The Chicago Police Department opened an internal investigation after Hendricks was caught. Four years later, CBS Chicago was told that probe is still “open and active.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into the Chicago Police Department, completed last January, found “officers are too rarely held accountable for misconduct” and “when investigations do occur they are glacially slow.”
David Bradford, a former police chief and executive director of Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety, said the lack of discipline is detrimental because “it produces bad morale within the good officers of the department and puts the credibility of the whole agency in question with the community.”
Only recently, after CBS Chicago started asking questions, did Chicago police finally close the internal investigation and recommend Hendricks be terminated.
The matter now goes before the Police Board.
CBS Chicago’s Brad Edwards caught up with Hendricks but she declined to discuss the allegations.
Hendricks was placed on desk duty in 2013, but has continued to collect an annual salary of more than $90,000. Additionally, taxpayers have picked up nearly $25,000 worth of educational expenses for her since May 2016, according to city records.
It’s unknown if she was convicted of theft in the 2013 case.
Her case doesn’t appear in Cook County court records and a Chicago Police spokesperson said her case had been expunged.
The police spokesperson says the internal probe dragged on in part because Hendricks went on medical leave.
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Source: CBS News – United States