Mayoral Candidates Focus On Adding Cops

Updated 01/26/11 – 6:06 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — As the candidates for mayor were waiting to find out if front-runner Rahm Emanuel will get to stay on the ballot, they were out talking Wednesday about their plans to fight crime in Chicago.

Former Chicago Board of Education President Gery Chico said Wednesday that he’ll hire 2,000 more police officers by the end of his first term if he’s elected — 500 officers every year — by cutting waste from the city budget.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that Chico presented his public safety plan on Wednesday in the Chicago Lawn police district, which has one of the city’s highest crime rates. He also said he’d beef up the city’s anti-loitering ordinance and expand early childhood education programs.

“We want to make sure that we are giving everything we can and being as efficient as we can to bring police resources down to the distirct level and the community level,” Chico said. “Let’s say you’re gonna need $50 million next year. That’s less than 1 percent of the city budget next year. … If you don’t think i could find one percent in the city of Chicago budget to increase our police manpower, I don’t need to apply for this job.”

Chico’s plan was, by far, the most ambitious of the four top candidates running for mayor.

Emanuel has pledged to add 250 new officers, paid for with TIF funds — which Chico claims is illegal — and to cut administration costs and attack abuse of medical leave and absenteeism.

City Clerk Miguel del Valle wouldn’t commit to any specific numbers, although he also wants to beef up the police force.

“I am not, in order to gain their vote, going to lie to the voters and tell them that I, in my first year, am going to add all these police officers,” del Valle said. “I am going to tell the voters the truth and that is that it’s going to take time because we have a huge deficit in the city of Chicago.”

Carol Moseley Braun also has said she wants to put more cops on the street, but other than moving existing officers them from desk jobs, she doesn’t know where the money would come from.

All the candidates for mayor have said they wouldn’t renew the contract of Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis, even though crime rates have dropped steadily under his command.

Weis has been under fire practically from his first day leading the department because of steps he took to reorganize command staff and because, as a former FBI agent with no police department experience, he’s seen as an outsider by rank-and-file cops.

But the elephant in the room, where Emanuel was meeting with veterans today, was the impending Supreme Court decision in his residency case.

The Illinois Appellate Court has ruled he doesn’t meet the one-year residency requirement to be mayor and said he should be kicked off the ballot. But the Supreme Court has issued a stay to keep Emanuel on the ballot for now while it reviews his case.

Emanuel played down the stress of the waiting game on Wednesday.

“It’s not difficult. Look at these people sitting here, they have faced harrowing situations,” Emanuel said at an event with military veterans. “What I’m facing … pales in comparison to what they’re facing. Obviously i would like certainty, not only for myself, but for the city.”

There has been no official word from the Supreme Court as of Wednesday evening, but Justice Anne Burke’s presence here in Chicago at an unrelated charity event seemed to indicate they are not meeting face to face, but by phone. A decision, perhaps in the form of a simple order, is expected any time.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • macho

    Why don’t you just declare marshall law instead of community policing because I know the police in my district don’t move when the spanish call. If you white or black and you call the law they come quick. When a Spanish person calls for trouble we get disrespected and asked a million question by the time they get to us either the crime has been committed or the person shot dead. This is a black and white world mayor and you need to start changing that sh&^ real quick.

    • james

      It’s because of the spanish ppl the crime is high.

    • carlos

      although many of the spanish speaking areas have had an increase in crime from jan – dec 2000 part of the problem is communications. many spanish speaking people haven’t learned enough english to report a crimes so then the dispatcher needs a translator it takes time. Perhaps there should be a push for spanish speaking people to take INGLES SIN BARRERAS so that they can function in the english speaking society.

      the two problems are lack of bilingual dispatchers/operators and the citizens lack of speaking english. there is contributory negligence on both parts therefore they should change what they can by learning english and not blaming the system for having enough spanish speaking dispatchers inthis very tough economy

    • steve

      black people say say the same thing and sometimes its true for us too

  • streamwood bill


  • carlos

    I don’t believe a politician as far as i can throw him. he will never firnd the resources to hire 2,000 cops.


  • Kyle

    Maybe hire a bunch of illegals to patrol their own neighborhoods for $3.95hr. Give them a badge, bycycle and a flashlight and they’re good to go.

  • vads33

    basically he’s replacing the 2000 officers that have retired over the last 4 years at a rate of 500 a year and were never replace to help save money…..

    • vads33

      these are not new jobs persay, they are finally filling the open positions

  • Some Guy

    This is what Chicago needs – 2,000 more cops to stand around in large groups on street corners and do pretty much nothing.

  • a.knight

    People, lets get it started. Rahm wants to play a shell game while raising taxes, Chico promises everything to anyone that will listen , but won’t say how he plans to pay, Carol is disillusion with herself all she wants is what moneies she can get for her new boytoy ,Devalle sat in the shadows, said nothing while ‘King Richard’ dumped on him. All these people have nice warchests, who do they owe Or is it who owns them? I can never get that right. If you vote for the large warchest then you are no better than a animal being lead to slaughter. And that’s what will happen to Chicago. Remember the ‘Stockyards’. That’s what Chicago was famous for, and will be again under their watch.

  • Diedra Price

    I’m all for hiring additonal police officers. However, whenever a politician is campaigning, they always made promises. However whenever that promises is not kept, they blamed the failure on someone or something else.

  • joe

    hey macho most of the spanish are illegal that way they don’t call the cops

  • George

    No one says a word when Emanuel said he would hire 2000 cops, but as soon as someone else says it you don’t trust them. Everyone complains about not have the police come when they call but when someone mentions that they will hire more police you complain! Makeup you mind!

  • Maggie

    did you all read what CHICO said he’d do? early childhood education pgms, “beef up” anti loitering pgms, hire more well trained cops. hello, anyone listening?

    Joe we know your silly game here with the bashing statements and then adding Chico to your rant. Mr. Chico, unlike you Joey, is a man who is not at all prejudiced and certainly not anti Jewish. Proof of which I’d provide, but you’re too stupid to bother with any longer.

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