Some Aldermen Skeptical Of City’s Plan To Hire Hundreds More Cops

CHICAGO (CBS) — Aldermen have been summoned to a briefing at City Hall Wednesday morning, believed to be about the hiring of new officers. But some say it could still only be a temporary fix to a shortage issue that could rear its head again soon.

City Hall sources say Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning on announcing the hiring of possibly 500 or more new police officers this week, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

“It’s just a reaction to keep Chicago safe,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson says.

But hiring more cops to combat escalating crime is something the mayor had discussed earlier this month. Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) says 500 new officers would be beneficial, but may not solve the patrol problem.

“That’s probably going to be a wash in terms of how many we lose from attrition this year; and by year’s end, or going into January, we could lose a few hundred more. So we’re keeping up with what we’re losing this year,” Waguespack said.

It would be a potential short-term solution, some say. The official public announcement will be made at an event Thursday night. But Waguespack and others still want more information.

“One of the first questions I asked Supt. Johnson is ‘What is your manpower need? How many do you have on the force right now?’ That still hasn’t been answered and it’s been a few months,” he said.

But how will the city pay for them, some ask. Will it reallocate some money within the police budget or eliminate/reduce overtime? That cost taxpayers $116 million last year alone.

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