Chicago police moving nearly 150 officers to streets

Nearly 150 cops will move from administrative roles to the street on Mondays through Thursdays in August.
Nearly 150 cops will move from administrative roles to the street but only on Mondays through Thursdays in August, not on weekends when the most of the shootings have been happening.

While marching with faith leaders in Pilsen Sunday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the murder rate in the city is at its lowest level in decades.

"We've seen the lowest homicide rate since 1963, a 30 percent drop in crime, but until every neighborhood feels that safety and perceives it and feels that safety, our work is not done," Emanuel said.

The move comes on the heels of a series of violent weekends and two days after Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told aldermen he had enough manpower in the neighborhoods.

"We still have more officers per capita than any large city in the country besides Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland and, believe it or not, Newark, New Jersey," McCarthy said.

"It's obvious we need more police officers," said Ald. Ricardo Munoz of the 22nd Ward. "On Friday, Superintendent McCarthy was at the City Council saying staffing levels were okay. They're not okay."

The mayor says the additional officers are in addition to the city's so-called "summer surge" of officers announced months ago.

Despite high-profile July shootings, including the death of 11-year-old Shamiya Adams who was killed while at a slumber party, city officials contend the perception of crime doesn't match reality.

"Twenty years ago, every single shooting, every single murder wasn't reported via social media or the press in general," McCarthy said. "And there's no context to those reports, and what people get is a steady drum beat of shooting, shooting, shooting, murder, murder, murder."

"They're saying that the numbers are down, but yet they're putting more officers on the street. That's sending a different message," said Laura Washington, ABC7 political analyst. "That's saying we're hearing you, and we're trying to do something about it. We're trying to respond."

The Fraternal Order of Police criticized this latest staffing plan Sunday as Spokesperson Pat Camden said, "We still have a manpower shortage. This is borrowing from Peter to pay Paul."
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