CHICAGO (CBS) — Just days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the Chicago Police Department’s strategy for the deadly Memorial Day weekend “a fail” — following more than 40 shootings and at least 10 murders — the department will permanently reassign another 100 officers from headquarters to patrol.
The remaining officers permanently assigned to headquarters will be redeployed to districts on rotating two-week schedules throughout the summer to further bolster CPD’s efforts to curb violent crime.
More than 80 unmarked vehicles also will be converted into marked squad cars, and the department will review its take-home vehicle policy to determine what vehicles can be redistributed to support the boost in officers on patrol.
“By reallocating more officers back to the streets, we are addressing the concerns and needs of residents head-on,” Police Supt. David Brown said in a statement. “This will give us more officers to improve our neighborhood policing efforts and provide a greater opportunity to strengthen the relationships with the residents we serve.”
Officers assigned to duties related to the court-ordered consent decree mandating major reforms at CPD will not be included in the redeployments.
The move comes on the heels of the deadliest Memorial Day weekend in Chicago in five years, with at least 10 people killed, and more than 40 others wounded in shootings across the city.
Lightfoot said Tuesday she is meeting with CPD to discuss what went wrong.
“This was a fail. Whatever the strategy is, it did not work. They are hard at work and looking at data. I have a meeting with them later this afternoon but we have to do better. We cannot have weekends and the summer turn into a bloodbath and this was out of control.”
The redeployments also come five months after CPD announced a sweeping reorganization effort, including the reopening of two detective areas that had been shuttered for eight years, and the redeployment of approximately 800 gang and drug officers and 300 robbery detectives into the department’s 22 districts.
“This next phase of the reorganization moves the Department forward in our modern policing efforts and follows national best practices,” said First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio. “The changes announced today provide our leadership more officers to bolster our crime-fighting strategy that is tailored to every neighborhood.”