Report: Police stations could close to help budget

September 19, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The idea is that the closures will save money, but they could also free up more police officers for street duty.

McCarthy has been charged with the task of cutting $190 million from the police department's $1.3 billion-a-year budget.

McCarthy also is under pressure to put more officers on beat patrol under the tight circumstances.

According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, for every police station closed, dozens of officers could be made available for street duty.

The report also says the station closings under the most serious considerations would be based on the age of the buildings and demographics and crime in the surrounding neighborhoods.

In recent weeks, the superintendent would only say he was looking at everything when it came to the economics inside the department.

"I cannot possibly ask for one police officer to be hired until such time as I ensure that every resource in this agency is being used to 100 percent capacity,focused on the things we need to do, which is reduce crime and improve quality of life in this community," McCarthy said.

There was no confirmation Monday on which of the city's 25 police stations would be closed, although the oldest stations include Monroe, Prairie, Belmont, Wentworth, Harrison, Rogers Park, Calumet, Grand Crossing and the Wood station in Ukranian Village. The Wood station is one of at least 12 police stations that is at least 20 years old.

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