Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to move 319 police officers from administrative duties to the city's streets.
Emanuel's plan to increase the number of police officers on the streets and in high-crime areas will be included in his 2016 budget proposal, which is set to be unveiled on Tuesday.
The budget proposal will contain funding for the Chicago Police Department to hire civilians to fill the administrative jobs, which include "Freedom of Open Information Officers, nurses, crossing guard supervisors, watch relief/police aides, watch secretaries, alternate response call takers, detention aides and property custodians," according to a news release from the mayor's office, which did not say how much the effort will cost.
"While we have made important strides to refocus our resources in the past four years, there are still a number of highly-trained police officers doing administrative work," Emanuel said. "So we asked a simple question of officers filling administrative roles - do you need a gun, a star and arrest powers to do your job? If not, we are going to deploy those officers into neighborhoods and into high crime areas to help us reduce crime, and we will hire professionals to do the administrative work."
Here's a breakdown of Emanuel's officer reassignment plan, as provided by the mayor's office:
- 154 are currently assigned to districts but are carrying out administrative duties. These officers will be reassigned within their respective police districts as beat officers.
- 60 officers will be assigned to Area Saturation Teams, allowing CPD to create six completely new teams, made up of 10 Officers. Area North, Area Central, and Area South will each be assigned two teams to give the Area deputy chiefs discretionary resources to help districts reduce violent crime by providing nimble enforcement.
- 105 Officers will be assigned as District Impact Officers. Currently there are 12 districts with impact zones. These officers be distributed evenly to each impact zone and assigned to the police district that has the respective geographic responsibility for the impact zone. This will allow for consistent straight time coverage as CPD reduces overtime officer assignments and fosters proactive community engagement by having the same officers familiar with residents and crime conditions in a neighborhood.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced some $4.8 million set to go towards law enforcement in Illinois, with a specific goal of hiring or recruiting new police officers.
"Even as tight budgets are forcing many local law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of officers on duty, the safety of our communities must be our top priority. This funding will help meet that goal by putting more local cops on the beat," Durbin said.
Here's more from Durbin's office on how the funds will be used:
- Broadview Police Department: $250,000 in funding to hire or rehire two police officers;
- Calumet City: $625,000 in funding to hire or rehire five police officers;
- City of Chicago: $3,125,000 in funding to hire or rehire twenty-five police officers;
- County Club Hills Police Department: $250,000 in funding to hire or rehire two police officers;
- City of Peoria: $500,000 in funding to hire or rehire four police officers; and
- Worth Police Department: $125,000 in funding to hire or rehire one police officer.
The federal funds are coming from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.