Police Security Details Make For Sticky Situation In Redeployment Effort
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The search continues for able-bodied Chicago police officers to redeploy from desk jobs and other special duty to beat patrols.
“Everything will be looked at, and where we can, we’re gong to do it,” said Police Supt. Garry McCarthy Tuesday.
Some officers may prove to be more difficult to redeploy than others, however — including those assigned to guard Emanuel himself, and Ald. Ed Burke (14th).
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Emanuel said during his campaign for mayor that the city can no longer afford the detail of six officers assigned to Burke as chairman of the city council finance committee.
Burke is the only Chicago alderman who has police bodyguards.
But Burke, who normally shuns questions on his security detail, was quick to say Tuesday that the detail is established pursuant to court order and that the council finance chair has had police bodyguards at least since the 1940s.
McCarthy said the same is true of the mayor’s detail.
“I don’t have the authority to change a court decision,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s for perpetuity or not. I’m worried about getting cops on the streets.”
Burke ducked and weaved when asked if he believes he deserves his detail.
“That is a question for the court,” he said. “The court has already heard evidence on that matter and has entered an injunction on that matter, and it’s a court order.”
Asked if he could dismiss his detail, he said, “I suppose that would be possible, but that court order has been active since 1989.”
Burke said he is not certain what his detail costs taxpayers. That information is the subject of a lawsuit filed in January by the Better Government Association (BGA) after the city rejected its request for a summary of the costs.
McCarthy said everyone should have to contribute to finding the 1,000 additional officers Emanuel promised during his campaign; to date McCarthy has redeployed 650.
“I am looking at everything we can do to get cops on the street,” he said. “(I’m) looking at who’s driving who, who’s working with who. I’ve assigned cops out of my office, so everybody is feeling the bite here.”