Emanuel Defends Closing Of Police District Stations

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday he stands by the decision to close two police district stations over the weekend and the plan to close a third in the fall.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the mayor said Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s decision to consolidate the city’s previous 25 police districts into 22 by the end of the year will result in Chicagoans feeling and being safer.

“I don’t believe buildings protect you. I believe police on the beat, driving in the community, responding to calls, doing preventive community policing is the best thing to do,” Emanuel said.

The Prairie District, at 300 E. 29th St. on the South Side, closed over the weekend. Patrol officers from that district are moving to three other South Side districts.

The Belmont District station at 2452 W. Belmont Av. will no longer serve as a district station, but will continue to serve as the headquarters for the new North Area Detective Division. Patrol officers from Belmont are being moved to the nearby Town Hall District at 850 W. Addison St.

The Wood District, at 937 N. Wood St. on the Near West Sdie, will close in the fall. Patrol officers there will move to the nearby Monroe District at 100 S. Racine Av.

“One of those neighborhoods … is mine, where I live,” Emanuel said. “As I said when I first introduced this, I would never ask somebody to do something if I didn’t think it was the right thing to do for safety.”

The mayor said there was nothing magical about having 25 police districts. He said he’ll be guided by the principle of doing whatever it takes to put more police officers on the street.

The Police Department has said the move to consolidate police districts, and to merge the five previous detective divisions into three, will return 100 officers to patrol duties from administrative assignments.

The three new detective divisions will be the North Area, based at the former Belmont District station; the Central Area, based at 5101 S. Wentworth Av.; and the South Area, based at 727 E. 111th St.

  • Chicago's Very Own

    Yes. Too much waste!! We need more cops on the streets.

    • Pamala E.

      Yeah, having 20 more officers, who were on the desk by bid, is going to be a tremendous savings and a huge help. Stop drinking the kool-aide.

  • Silver

    Since we are saving money by reducing the number of police districts. How much can be saved by reducing the number of Wards in the City? We need police on the street. We do not needs 50 Alderman.

  • old city

    Who will be watching the children in this now defunct districts? Isn’t Remanual all about creating this to make sure the children learn and are safe. is this safe? I agree…do away with some of the alderman!

  • Miguel Rivera

    What a pud, the mayor is. Him stating that one of the police district station is in his neighborhood. The Emanuel family gets police protection. 24/7.Don’t be fooled by this.

  • Oh, gimme a break

    Of course Queen Rahm supports everything that her sex-puppet Miss Garry does. What the hell ELSE should we expect?

  • Joey

    I’m not sure that this shake up will work. But, I am sure that doing nothing will not improve law enforcement in Chicago. As things stand, it is a joke. I’m glad that McCarthy is trying something different. 100 more officers on the streets should be a good thing, in my opinion.

    • Pamala E.

      Except that closing two districts isn’t putting 100 officers on the street. There weren’t 100 people on the desks of two districts.

      • Joey

        McCarthy announced that there will be 100 more officers on the streets as a result of these closings. If he isn’t telling the truth, I’m interested in knowing the facts. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Pamala.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live