FOP disputes mayor met promise to add 1,000 cops to street

October 6, 2011 3:18:33 PM PDT
Almost 140 additional police officers will be shifted from their desks to the streets of Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. With that move, Emanuel said he will reach his campaign promise to add 1,000 new police officers to the street.

"They were detention aides, they were jailers, they were doing finger printing. We can hire civilians to do that cheaper and get the cops on the street where they should be," Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy said.

Supt. McCarthy said those jobs will be replaced with the hiring of 104 civilian jobs. The rest of the cops will come from consolidating police lockups. The mayor says the latest move brings the total to more than 1,000 officers added to the street since he took office, a number he promised over and over in his campaign.

"I'm aware of what I said in the campaign," Mayor Emanuel said.

Are there really 1,000 new officers on the street? The Fraternal Order of Police calls the number all smoke and mirrors, saying that hundreds of the cops were already on the street.

"This is nothing new this is a just reshuffling the deck," Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said.

The mayor acknowledges not all the 1,000 officers are coming from desk jobs.

"If you go over the 1,019 [officers] we are a little over 600 are from administrative position," Mayor Emanuel said.

Supt. McCarthy says the rest are coming from the elimination of citywide task forces, which signifies a shift in management philosophy.

"I do not believe that citywide task forces are the right way to fight crime. I believe the right way is to put the resources in the hands of the commanders and hold them accountable," Supt. McCarthy said.

McCarthy says giving district commanders more resources and holding them accountable is helping reduce the crime rate.

Camden said he is concerned about how the mayor plans to replace hundreds of police officers who are about to retire. Camden says that is in addition to hundreds of vacancies that have never been filled.

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