It all happened in about five minutes Thursday afternoon after Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) gaveled the meeting open.
Roderick Drew, director of news affairs for the Chicago Police Department, testified that the new policies were written in consultation with members of the news media and after looking at information from the White House.
“It removes the requirement for fingerprinting, expands our ability to credential people such as producers, on-line media- It removes the requirement that you must be full-time,” Drew said.
Beale asked if the aldermen present, Walter Burnett (27th), Jim Balcer (11th) or Lona Lane, (18th) had any questions. They did not. All in favor say aye. The ayes have it. It was that easy.
Bob Roberts of WBBM arrived with speech in hand ready to testify in favor but neither he nor I had to say a word.
Afterward Drew told us journalists would still have to go to police HQ for at least an initial photograph, but perhaps not if just getting the credential renewed. The credential will be good for two years instead of just one now.
The full City Council must approve the committee recommendation, but is almost certain to do so.
— Abdon Pallasch
Chicago Headline Club
FOI Vice President