Jun 3, 2020 —
Yesterday in our MCA Staff meeting we were asked a question about our relationship with the Chicago Police Department (CPD). This is an important question that is essential to address at this time.
First, to clarify, the MCA maintains a business relationship with the CPD and the 18th District in particular as any organization or business does. Our historic relationship has been solely to work with them to ensure the security and safety of our staff and visitors.
Our relationship with the 18th District (the CPD District the MCA is in) is as follows: Our Security Contractor, Securitas, attends monthly CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) meetings, we consult with them about permit applications, and we go over plans for special events and other activities as required by the City.
There are two times our actions went beyond that relationship: During the MCA’s 50th Anniversary events, we invited City officials including the Mayor to be represented, and the late Commander Bauer attended on behalf of the CPD. He sat on the dais along with other public officials but did not have a speaking role. When he was killed in the line of duty in 2018, the MCA made a donation to the Chicago Police Department Memorial Fund in his honor.
Last summer, as a part of our Virgil Abloh exhibition, we worked with Nike on the release of shoes exclusive to the MCA. Nike insisted that we consult with the CPD to ensure a safe environment for people to pick up their new shoes. Our Security Department worked with CPD on a plan for a security presence around the pick up of shoes that met Nike’s expectations. Shortly after that project, the 18th District held a fundraiser and Securitas made a donation to the CPD of the equivalent value of a pair of the Nike shoes. This donation was communicated in our weekly Abloh staff update with a photo of the donation being made.
I acknowledge that sharing an image of the check being handed over, featuring MCA colleagues, sent a confusing message. We have clarified that message for anyone who asked directly and are grateful that we have the moment to do that now more broadly.
The MCA maintains an ongoing relationship with the CPD similar to any other museum or business. Securitas manages any communications with the CPD and we do not hold contracts with CPD nor do we provide any services to them.
Moving forward, we will ask Securitas to alert me should the need arise to work with CPD in any capacity other than normal business procedures.
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