Police Security Details Costing Taxpayers $3 Million A Year

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has been hit with mob attacks in the downtown area, daily gun violence and a shortage of uniformed police officers to deal with it all, but some officers are protecting politicians rather than the public.

As CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, it is costing taxpayers $3 million a year.

RELATED: Police Offer Daley Security Detail After Term Ends

Dozens of officers and millions of dollars are spent to protect the Mayor and a handful of other city officials. Is it money well spent or a luxury we can no longer afford?

On the South Side Thursday morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was accompanied by at least four Chicago Police officers, in two cars, as he left an event promoting summer safety for inner city students.

At City Hall, Treasurer Stephanie Neely arrived for work, as usual, accompanied by another Chicago Police officer, who drives her to and from work and to appointments throughout the day.

And when Ald. Ed Burke (14th) attends events like last week’s ribbon cutting in his ward, it is under the watchful eyes of two Chicago police officers. Burke went to court to keep his detail when Mayor Harold Washington tried to take it away back in the 1980s.

“There is a court order, and it exists with that. If we need to we’ll look at that,” Mayor Emanuel said. “But my main goal isn’t the six officers assigned to Alderman Burke, but the 650 officers we put on the street.”

But it’s a lot more than just six officers. A Freedom of Information Act request by CBS 2 turned up many security specialists making between $88,000 and $105,000 a year.

Add in the commander and the total is 31 officers making $2.8 million, protecting five public officials – Mayor Emanuel, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Burke, Neely, and former Chicago Housing Authority chief Lewis Jordan.

And don’t think the new police superintendent doesn’t know it.

“Looking at who’s driving who; who’s working with who. I sent cops out of my office,” police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

City Clerk Susana Mendoza does not have a police security detail.

“I drive myself, and I ride my bike, so at most my security detail is either my seatbelt or my helmet,” Mendoza said.

Yet Mendoza’s job is much higher profile than that of Treasurer Neely.

“I believe that it’s more important to have police officers that could have been assigned to my detail to be working on the street,” Mendoza said.

Mayor Emanuel addressed the question directly Wednesday.

“Here’s the deal, Jay,” he said. “I asked in the transition for (former police Supt.) Terry Hillard to do a review based on security, because I wanted this removed from politics. “They’ve looked at my security. They’re going to look at everybody’s security. They’re going to make that judgment, which is what they were supposed to do, based on safety, not politics.”

It’s hard to argue with security for the Mayor himself. But Burke says it will take a court order to take his away, Jordan refused to give his up before Emanuel took them away, and Neely declined to talk to us about the taxpayer-paid perk – complimentary cars, driven by officers McCarthy says he could really use on the street.


    TAKE AWAY THE SECURITY DETAIL FOR NEELY, BURKE AND DALEY. Burke just wants to pretend he is still KING OF THE CITY COUNCIL…Neely is a narcissistic pig…and Daley…..just like Neely

    If Burke will not give up his security detail…the voters need to make sure he loses his job on the next election. Voters got rid of BARNEY STONE….now its time to get rid of KING BURKE .

    • GIGI

      AMEN 2 THAT!!!! He does nothing for us in the ward, so why is he still around????? Next election please everyone VOTE him OUT…….

    • Diana Robledo

      WHY does Burke NEED security?? And Neely? Someone justify that! It’s way past time for Burke to give the security up, he’s just paranoid or feeling guilty for angering his community? With all the bribes & money in Chicago city government, he can surely afford his own security detail if he is that paranoid! The security could be better placed elsewhere!

  • Avg Joe

    Term Limits …..These lackies get in and even thou they make 120K a year, and they can legally carry a gun, but clowns ,arrogant burke ( got a twenty ) says..hell with the people , get a court order, hebrew king won’t make waves with the old guard,…in other wordds business as usual in Chicago,….’were Corruption is King…….

  • Jim

    It’s a great sign when the mayor says that the great city of Chicago is safe, but has to have all this security protecting him. Is he afraid of a flash mob?!? Why can’t I receive a security detail? Oh because politicians think that they are gods in Illinois and we are just pawns that they use for votes.

    • Native Chicagoan

      Ya hit the nail on the head, Jim! It amazes me that Burke can’t see the sense in moving into one of the abundant high rises downtown with a security at the helm. These people are overboard paranoid and sad to say full of self importance about themselves. It is one stupendous story after another. I’m still reeling about Daley’s son Patrick raking in over 780,000 dollars as an intern!! Dah, it’s obvious it was some kind of inside dealing and the money flow went to his doorstep, or bank account, and the money flowed all while he was in the Army! Such a genius son. Also, still shaking my head about the sewerage in the river water problem that has been happening for years. Maybe we should have Burke and Daley and Neely etc., take a canoe ride in it, maybe go for a swim, as they have suggested to the innocents of Chicago about how safe the river was. Liars. I’ve gotten to the point I want to move out of this God forsaken place because I now have to carry a puke bag around with me due to hearing stories such as these. Their conduct of security entitlement and God only knows fully what else, should be stopped cold turkey. Their butts are soft, as are their brains.

  • Roberta Waker

    I can understand security for the Mayor; but NO ONE else should have taxpayer funded security. If Burke, et al, want security, they should pay for “private security” themselves and NOT use police officers paid for by the taxpayers. They should also pay for their own drivers and I’m sure there are a lot of other expenses that we can cut as well to cut the deficit in Chicago AND Illinois.

  • g-man

    SOOOO now the news can ask about Burke’s detail once Daley is out of office .And why not tell about how Daley AND his wife get city cars each.

  • krissy

    Daley has enough of MY taxpaying dollars stashed away to pay for his OWN security!! We only get extra COPS on the street for these mob attacks because the WHITES are being targeted!

  • Citizen for a Livable Chicago

    A legend in their own minds, over rated and very little substance. These are small, insignificant, unimportant, and shallow men that this city continues to treat as royality. Certainlly not deserving of servants payed for by tax payers.

  • Tony Accardo

    The people of Chicago are the ones to blame as they vote for these people time and time again. Get rid of Burke he is a fool, the longer they stay in office the harder it is to get rid of them. The only conceivable person that should have police detail is the CURRENT mayor not past or anyone else.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Here is what I bet all of you did not know. Both the Mayor and Alderman for the City of Chicago are given peace officer powers which permits them to carry a concealed firearm on there persons 24 hours a day. How is Illinois the last state in the union to prevent citizens from protecting themselves with concealed firearms and these politicians, who again are afforded the ability to carry concealed weapons and do, are guarded by armed police. You either have a relatively safe City of Chicago or it is so unsafe that citizens should have to right to protect themselves since the police can’t seem to ever come in time.

  • Citizen for a Livable Chicago

    If Daley wants police portection, he should be paying for it. The amount of money he is pulling down in pensions(3), University of Chicago, The law firm and contless others revernue sources. The man can fund his own security detail without tax payer assistance. In the end we see the man for what he is, fake and shallow.

  • tom Sharp

    Vote them all out! TERM LIMITS OF ONE!!!!

  • NWA

    Illinois should adopt CCW (carrying a concealed weapon). If Illinois does, I would hope that the laws are comparable to California’s CCW laws. Where county boards can vote on their own laws to protect their citizens. If so, Cook County would not have or, never have CCW. And, I believe that Lake, Will and Dupage counties would have laws similar to that of Cook. So, “You People” who would like to get drunk of Rush St. then take a walk on the Southside? It ain’t gonna happen!


    • Steve Brennan

      Who exactly are you referring to, when you say “You People”? What do you mean , get drunk and take a walk on the southside? Please elaborate.

      • NWA

        C’mon, you know who they are?


  • l

    I agree totally with the statements re: Burke Daley and Neely if they want bodyguards and chauffeurs they should pay for that luxury , we need more troops on the ground looking out for the average citizen with that money

  • GIGI

    I wish I had security on June 17th’ Friday evening when I was attack by a mop across the street, who had loud music,kids out running unsupervised, Oh yes it was even the kids too who took part of the attack. After the police came out and did NOTHING!!!!!! I then called in for a Supervisor and 2 police came out and man handled me which resulted in my arrest!!!!! Who protected me????

    • gigi

      Correction :Mob:

    • GIGI

      sorry for the miss spelling of mop …correction “MOB”….

  • SB

    Anyone want to bet some of these politicos have weaseled reserve officer status which allows them to carry a concealed firearm? Fine for them, but nothing for the law abiding that wish to protect themselves from gang attacks. I’m so glad to have escaped the People’s Republic of Chicago 25 years ago! I’ve never regretted it once – well maybe a Cubs game now and then.

  • b miers

    Goons protecting goons at tax payer expense. But Hey,! they elect them. Leave them to their own wishes and you get Detroit.
    It’s local money being spent at local level, thats fine as long as they don’t take federal money when they go broke.
    Give Rahm twenty cops on chrome mototrcycles
    I heard they are taking away GW’s security detail in seven more years. I guess they want him dead

  • MJ

    Every time I read about Chicago I laugh. You now have the pathetic top cop running your police force from Newark. He talks about the young people getting shot he did nothing for that city to stop the violence. He blames it on illegal guns. What a pathetic statement for a man who couldn’t do his job. Now you have him along with the rest of the looser liberals you deserve all you get because you vote them in.

  • The Duke of Hazard

    But…Ahhhhmmmmm uhhhhh Dimuhcrat!

  • shadowrider

    The current mayor is the the only one that should have a Police Security Detail.

    The others make enough money in their salary that they can afford to pay for their own private security detail. I guarantee you if they paid for their own they wouldn’t spend that much of their money. They would only use them when necassary and wouldn’t be paying for 24 hr protection. They could write this off as a busy expense and they still wouldn’t pay no 3 million dollars worth.

    • Native Chicagoan

      perfectly logical. agree with this statement 100%.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/06/29/review-underway-for-public-officials-police-security-details/ Review Underway For Public Officials’ Police Security Details « CBS Chicago

    […] RELATED: Police Security Details Costing Taxpayers $3 Million A Year […]

  • Yomama

    Guts like Burke who have the money (millionaires) pay for it yourself. Its a fully deductible business expense.

  • m

    we should force them all to carry guns

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