Security Details For Burke, Other City Officials To Be Reduced Or Eliminated

CHICAGO (STMW) — Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Friday announced plans to reduce or eliminate city-funded security for city officials, including powerful Ald. Ed Burke, the Sun-Times is reporting.

“After completing a review, it has been determined that the officials who have security paid for by the city require less or no protection,” McCarthy said in a written statement released Friday. “Most of the police officers will go back on the street at a savings of $650,000 to the taxpayers.”

The security details for Burke and City Treasurer Stephanie Neely will both be “reduced,” according to the McCarthy’s office, but the statement did not say by how much.

“We can’t discuss that — it’s a security issue,” a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

McCarthy’s office said Emanuel’s security detail has already been reduced, and the superintendent’s own detail will also be reduced. Security for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and the Chicago Housing Authority CEO have been eliminated, according to the statement.

While Emanuel and McCarthy will continue to use Chicago Police officers for security, other officials will use “security specialists” who are retired police officers.

Burke’s controversial four-bodyguard detail dates back to his role as a political lightning rod who marshaled opposition to Mayor Harold Washington during the “Council Wars” in the 1980s.

In 1986, Chicago police informed Burke his security detail would be reduced from four police officers to two, as the number of reported “incidents” — including threats — involving aldermen plummeted.

In response, Burke sued the mayor, police superintendent and the city and was able to keep the four-member detail.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • tom Sharp

    Taxpayers 1, Democrat Pigs 0. Unless, of course, this pig goes crying “wee, wee, wee” to court.

  • dude

    Finally. It’s about time.

  • Just sayin'

    Explain to me why Burke needs ANY chauffeurs or coat holders paid for by taxpayers. It still stinks, and hiding what they’re doing with taxpayer money by citing “security concerns” is still a load of B.S. Let him use the avalanche of money he made as a “public servant” to pay for his coat holders.

  • Bob Hamilton

    Burke could get his security detail increased to 72 officers if he would release his income tax returns for the last 30 years to let everyone see just how well “public service” pays off.

  • The Elder

    Why do we pay for anyones security? They all make enough money to supply their own especially Burke and his wife who is a judge. No one protects me and I live in terror town and can’t own a weapon. Where is the justice?

  • Citizen for a Livable Chicago

    I was wondering when Daley goes out of town on vacation, does he take the body guard detail and who pays for them if they go with him.

  • J Walton

    Why was the city paying for a detail for the Cook County State’s Attorney? That should have been handled by the county. And the city should be looking for reimbursement. With interest!

  • southlooper

    How much of the issue is just preserving the cushy jobs of the folks assigned?

  • darrel dillard

    walk down say clark st or western ave ask the first twenty people who is ed burke i would say 70% would not know who he is but he needs securty give us tax payers a brake

  • Bob Hamilton

    Why is Ed Burke frequently called “powerful”? Can he bench press 900 lbs? It seems he lives in constant fear, since he has insisted on having so many bodyguards for all these decades, so maybe pompous would be a better adjective. Or puny, pathetic, phony, putrid, or petty if you prefer p’s.

  • Bob

    Your only an alderman!!! If your that afraid WHY did you continue to be an alderman. and if someone is after you what did you do wrong?? I live in his neighborhood and you would think the president has arrived, im suprised they dont use lights and sirens on the city car that drives him around. THings llike this is why the city is broke not the city pensions. If the mayor doesnt stop it soon this will be another egypt.

  • evad

    For 30 years Burke has manipulated the system. Someone should lay out exactly
    what he has done , how he has done it and what benefits he has collected.
    I would suppose the bodyguards are protection less against physical threats and more for good investigative journalists.

  • Native Chicagoan

    Although it is a step in the best direction, it appears not enough effort and crossing the line has occurred. I remember reading that the payout by Chicago taxpayers for all this unnecessary security for all these years was in the millions of dollars. 650,000 dollars decrease a year is not enough. Can the Don, Ed Burke, the wearer of very expensive clothes and silly hats, be sued by the citizens of Chicago? or forced to retire immediately? The judge who agreed to continue this insane practice could he be sued by the the city of Chicago? Ed Burke is soft and loony to continue to have these cops man sitting him. Why did the taxpayers NOT know about this lawsuit he had which shows the unbelievable selfishness! that is a part of his psyche to enact against Washington when it happened? I did not know of this until this scandal was revealed in the last few months. The head burying media must have been in the bucket with Daley, who was the enabler and protector of Burke? Funny how they both like the same hats, and how both look ridiculously pompous waring these over the top hats. They must “feel a need” for a crown of some sort. We can see where a teeny tiny part of our the tax dollars went.

  • Tom

    Good job, Superintendant! If these clowns are so concerned about thier safety that they need sworn CPD officers to guard them, then they should quit and go hide in thier homes. In the past year three CPD officers have been murdered while off duty. Heck, if anyone needs a security detail it’s the off duty cops. It’s a good thing McCarthy didn’t mention he was going to do this before he got hired. They wouldn’t have approved his hiring.

  • jaycee

    Reducing the security details is not going to cut the cake only is way is ELIMINATION of all security details

    Why is RAHM refusing to disclose the cost in the reduction of the security details its the taxpayers money he`e stating security reasons BS

    They should eliminate the office of the city treasure Ms Neely she has two bodyguards- two cars free gas-free ins -city credit car- free parking its a do-nothing office city would save millions of dollars in this office just by ELIMINATION

    City Clerk how big is her security detail?

    Daley has two town cars-eight bodyguards-free ins-gas-parking city sticker to take his family to baseball games and his Mich summer home on taxpayers money
    after all the money his family made on parking meter scandal the man has nothing but arrogance and greed what he thinks of the taxpayer “IN YOUR FACE”

    RAHMN what happen to your TRANSPARENCY you promise the voters same old game different players more BS comning fr the 5th fl

    Rahmn wants to cut the security from the schools where their needed not from the politicians they should all quit their jobs if their that scare city budget would be BALANCE

  • Roberta Waker

    Reducing security is a great start in reducing the deficit for the City of Chicago. If they want to reduce the city’s deficit substantially, get rid of freeloading ILLEGALS, who are bankrupting the city. THEN, have the federal government follow their example, i.e., get rid of security for everyone except the President because they can all afford to pay for their own protection.

  • Allen in Palatine

    I don’t get it… How does reassigning police from bodyguard detail to street duty save money? All you’re doing is moving pieces around on a chessboard.

    And why does Edward Burke keep being re-elected if the people of his ward feel that he’s arrogant, wasteful, etc??

    Chicagoans pay more than anyone else in the nation for gasoline, electricity and in taxes. Yet there’s virtually no pressure from citizens to force improvement. At least the new Mayor Emmanuel is taking positive action to help the citizens improve their near and long-term future…even if they themselves are apathetic.

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