Ald. Burke open to a review of his security needs

June 23, 2011 4:46:32 PM PDT
Chicago Alderman Ed Burke says he would be open to the idea of reviewing his bodyguard detail.

The 14th Ward alderman and city council finance committee chairman is still assigned four to as many as six Chicago police officers to protect and chauffer him 24 hours a day based on a court order initially issued during the 1980s "Council Wars."

"Obviously a lot of time has elapsed and perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the circumstances. So you would be open to a re-evaluation of the circumstances? Of course, all the time," Burke told ABC7.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel ended his news conference Thursday before ABC7 could ask if the city law department, based on Burke's statement, would petition the court to lift the over two-decades old protection order.

During the campaign, Emanuel questioned the use of six officers to guard one alderman as a citywide police manpower shortage worsened. But on Wednesday the mayor said he was not focused on the issue.

The administration issued a written statement Thursday saying, "the Chicago Police Department is currently conducting a security assessment to evaluate the needs of protectees in the city."

Two days ago, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told ABC7 he could not alter Burke's security because of the 1980's court order.

Based on the Emanuel administration statement, it appears McCarthy has been told that he is able to review Burke's security needs and has been ordered by the mayor's office to do so.

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