CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new class of recruits graduated Tuesday from the Chicago Police Academy, which could help the Chicago Police Department deal with an exploding overtime budget.
CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson welcomed its seventh class of police recruits. It's part of the department's plan to add a thousand of new officers over the next two years.
"We working to provide better service to every Chicagoan in every neighborhood," Johnsons aid.
The officers come as overtime spending is at high, according to recent numbers provided by the city. The department spent $30.9 million on overtime from January to March - that up nearly 27 percent from the $24.4 million the department spent during the same period last year.
"We have to spend the taxpayers' dollars as judiciously as we can. We have used it to fight crime," Johnson said.
The department said the surge in overtime spending was used to help cut down on violence, which is also up from last year.
Just this month, there have been 41 murders and 186 shootings
Johnson said the new officers will help.
"We have to get up to the levels that we want to before we see some of the gains, the benefits from adding more officers," he said.
Johnson said he plans to have his bureau chiefs report how much overtime they are spending so that the department can continue to closely monitor.
CPD hopes new recruits help curb violence, lower overtime budget