CHICAGO (CBS) — More Chicago Police officers are out on the street – in what might sound like a move to cut crime.
But as CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Monday, it is actually all about saving money.
Chicago Police officers will move from desk jobs at Chicago Public Safety Headquarters back to the streets in just a matter of months. It is part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to consolidate Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, and Fire Department administration functions.
“He have folks that are in graphic arts that are sworn police officers, you know? That type of person would be transferred back to district law enforcement,” said Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th).
Taliaferro heads the City Council Public Safety Committee. A former police officer himself, he said there are hundreds of positions like the ones he described.
New City Council Finance Committee Chairman Scott Waguespack (32nd) said it is one step toward trimming bloated city payrolls.
“I wouldn’t say that they played us off on each other, but it was often difficult to wonder why we had so many extra people doing these jobs,” Waguespack said.
Waguespack further said it is a concern worthy of further scrutiny citywide.
The mayor said the move will save taxpayers $2 million next year.
Taliaferro said it is premature to get into how the officers will be assigned.
“It hasn’t been discussed at this moment. I know the office is opening up in January, and then there’s going to be an assessment as far as when that transition period is going to take place,” he said.
It will also be determined at that point what districts will receive the officers.
Last year, we reported the city Inspector General found about 800 sworn police officers were working in jobs that could be filled by civilians.
As for the police, fire, and OEMC consolidation, it is part of the mayor’s budget proposal to be voted on this week.