CHICAGO (CBS) — On the tail of the bloodiest summer in Chicago in 20 years, police believe there’s strength in numbers.
Tonight, after a commitment to hire nearly 1,000 new officers over 2 years, many question how it fits into the city budget, CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.
What’s missing is the money to pay for this. There’s a promise here to bring the number of officers on the streets over 10,000. But that could hurt the pockets of officers already out there.
“We’re going to add officers to areas experiencing violent crime and we’re going to fill vacancies in districts across the city,” Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson says.
Within two years, the plan is to add 500 street cops and 200 detectives, then beef up the ranks with 112 more sergeants and 50 additional lieutenants.
There are just over 12,500 sworn positions on the force right now. The new plan would raise that number to more than 13,500 by 2018. But that’s not factoring in attrition, retirement or filling the 400 current vacancies.
“The mayor delivered for us,” Johnson says. According to him, the hiring binge is a task handed down from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with a commitment to give the resources needed to make it happen.
“The city of Chicago is facing something we haven’t seen. Something happened in the last nine months, which we need to address with additional response and additional resources,” Emanuel said.
The city’s homicide rate is up 50 percent this year, on pace to exceed 600 murders by the end of 2016.
“The violence in Chicago is not a police-driven problem and it’s not just for the police to resolve. we need police, community,” Johnson said.
Emanuel is supposed to give more details about the anti-crime effort Thursday night at Malcolm X College.