Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas unveils public safety plan

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas revealed Monday his plan to deal with gun violence in the city, which included more police officers.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration continues to hire more police officers, but Vallas said it's not enough. He said another 500 cops -- for a total of 14,000 on the force -- are needed to help curb crime.

"A lack of resources and support is severely undermining the police department's ability to stem the violence," Vallas said.

Vallas, who blamed Emanuel for a serious of bad decisions, said his plan calls for more detectives, equipment, and training. Vallas -- a former Chicago budget director and one-time CEO of Chicago Public Schools - called for one sergeant for every 10 officers, a new leadership academy and a return to five detective areas.

It is likely a costly proposal.

"I haven't finalized my price tag yet, but I'm pretty confident the items I've identified will basically generate money to fund it," said Vallas.

His plan lists some revenue-generating ideas to pay for it, including sharing the cost of officers with the CTA and Chicago Public Schools.

"There is no reason why we can't use attrition to phase out non-CPD security and use those positions to convert to CPD," said Vallas.

He says reducing overtime and partnering with the police union to work on long-term budget goals will also help pay for his plan.

In a written response to Vallas' plan, Emanuel's campaign spokesperson said: "Any public safety plan that is all police and doesn't include mentoring, youth summer jobs and after school programming is no plan at all and that shows a real failure to."

Anti-violence activist Fr. Michael Pfleger agrees.

"I'm not ever for more police, more police, more police. Let's get to the root of the problem out here which is not just police," Pfleger said.

While Vallas' entire focus Monday was on the police, he acknowledges there are more contributing factors to Chicago's violence. Vallas said he'll have a plan for that on another date.
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