United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
ROBERT BARLETT and PATRICK LEYDEN, individually and on behalf of other similarly situated SWAT team members of the Chicago Police Department, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant.
CHARLES P. KOCORAS, DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are Plaintiffs Robert Bartlett
(“Bartlett”) and Patrick Leyden's
(“Leyden”), individually and on behalf of other
similarly situated members of the Chicago Police Department
(the “CPD”) (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) and Defendant City of Chicago's
(the “City”) cross-motions for summary judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. For the
following reasons, the Court grants the City's motion and
denies the Plaintiffs' motion.
following facts are taken from the record and are undisputed
unless otherwise noted.
Bartlett and Leyden are CPD officers who were both assigned
to the CPD's Special Weapons and Tactics
(“SWAT”) Unit when it became a full-time unit in
2005. Bartlett was assigned to the SWAT Unit until April
2017. He is currently on leave from the CPD while performing
duties as a field representative for The Fraternal Order of
Police, Chicago Lodge No. 7 (“FOP”), the union
that represents CPD officers below the rank of sergeant.
Leyden remains assigned to the SWAT Unit.
addition to Bartlett and Leyden, Plaintiffs' FLSA
certified collective class includes 76 opt-in plaintiffs, and
the Rule 23 certified class consists of 102 class members.
The Plaintiffs currently work or formerly worked as
operational members of the SWAT Unit in the rank of police
mission of the SWAT Unit is to provide a tactical response to
critical incidents where the potential for injury and/or loss
of life is present and where the circumstances are unusual
and beyond the capabilities of normal police response.
Critical incidents include, but are not limited to, hostage
situations, barricaded and/or suicidal subjects, sniper
situations, high-risk apprehension of individuals, active
shooter incidents, and incidents relating to terrorism and/or
weapons of mass destruction. The SWAT Unit also executes
high-risk search warrants, provides dignitary protection, and
provides security and protection at O'Hare Airport and at
large public events, including games at the City's
professional sports stadiums and arenas.
SWAT Unit is based out of Homan Square, which is located at
3340 West Fillmore, Chicago, Illinois 60624. The SWAT Unit is
a volunteer unit, meaning that CPD officers voluntarily apply
for entry into the unit and are eligible to be considered for
admission only if they meet certain qualifications and pass a
detailed selection process.
SWAT Unit has a Commanding Officer, an Assistant Commanding
Officer, supervisors (primarily sergeants), operators (who
hold the rank of police officer), and other support
personnel. The SWAT Unit is comprised of four squads, and
each squad is supervised by at least one sergeant. The
Commanding Officer, who has overall command of the SWAT Unit,
reports directly to the CPD's Deputy Chief of Special
issues each SWAT operator weapons and equipment pursuant to
SWAT Standard Operating Procedures (“SOP”). Among
the issued gear are ballistic entry vests, a radio, headset,
gas mask, night vision goggles, helmet, a Glock 9mm gun, and
an M-4 carbine rifle. However, many SWAT operators have
specialized roles in addition to their basic SWAT duties,
including snipers, breachers, and medics. Snipers are
strategically positioned in the field to gather intelligence
and may be required to use sharpshooting skills for a
resolution. Breachers are skilled at breaching doors,
windows, walls, and other obstructions that may be faced
during a SWAT incident. Medics provide required medical
services on the scene. Given these additional roles,
specialists are required to have additional gear to perform
work schedule utilized by SWAT has been modified over the
last several years. For the most part, however, SWAT has
maintained a schedule in which, for a two-week period, two
squads are assigned to work in “SORT cars”
(Special Operations Response Time) and the other two squads
are on a training cycle. In the following two-week period, the
two squads switch places. If a squad is on a two-week
training cycle, it will typically train on six days and work
in a SORT car on the other four work days in that cycle.
squad is on its two-week SORT car cycle, the operators on
that squad report for duty at Homan Square at the beginning
of each of their shift. The two SWAT squads working SORT car
shifts are broken down into different watches and shifts.
SWAT operators are provided with 15 minutes at the beginning
of their shift, on the clock, to transfer their weapons and
gear into the SORT car. They then report to roll call inside
Homan Square. About 30 to 45 minutes before the end of their
shift, operators return to Homan Square and are provided with
at least 15 minutes prior to the end of their shift, on the
clock, to transfer and secure their weapons and gear out of
SORT cars so that the SORT cars are available for the next