CHICAGO (WBBM) – Rahm Emanuel said that, if elected Chicago’s next mayor, he will use tax increment financing to hire police officers and deploy them to fight crime in targeted areas.

Emanuel made the pledge during an hour-long roundtable discussion with residents of the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood at BJ’s Market & Bakery, 1156 W. 79th St.

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Emanuel would target hiring to specific tax increment financing (TIF) areas, using TIF funds to put 250 additional officers on the force.

He said he would deploy the officers in new squads that would be based on the type and level of violent crime, as well as the geographic boundaries of the TIF district.

Those participating in the roundtable told Emanuel they want to see a greater police presence in high-crime neighborhoods.

Emanuel told them that community organizations must play a prominent role in any crime-reduction effort, and also asked about conflict resolution efforts in Chicago schools.

Hiring of the officer would be financed by $25 million of the city’s estimated $900 million in available TIF funds. He said deployment of the additional officers would create safer neighborhood environments and a chance for residents to rebuild their communities and stimulate economic development and job creation.

Emanuel said he would hire the officers as part of a thorough overhaul of the TIF program. He said he wants to make sure that Chicagoans are funding only viable projects, and said that, if elected, he would establish a panel of independent economic development and financial experts to set clear return-on-investment standards.