Emanuel Shifts 500 Cops to Chicago Districts; Union Skeptical


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has delivered what he called a “down payment” on his promise to put 1,000 more police officers on the street — by shifting 500 officers from specialized units to high-crime districts, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. A union leader dismissed the summer crime plan as a reshuffling of the deck that fails to deliver on Emanuel's campaign promise and misleads the public. “I believe in the beat officer [ ] That's where you fight crime — not in [ ] top-heavy specialized units,” Emanuel said. The 500 officers will be primarily drawn from two elite units: the Mobile Strike Force and Targeted Response Unit.

Acting Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy called it a “shift in managerial philosophy” that will usher in a new era of accountability, using the CompStat model he championed in New York City. “The terms `accountability' and `authority' you're going to hear over and over and over again. Commanders will be held accountable for reducing crime in their districts and their areas. This is putting the resources in their hands to make them do it,” McCarthy said. Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields argued that what the Chicago Police Department desperately needs is to hire more officers — not play a game of checkers with the officers it already has. “To say this is 500 more officers on the street — no, it's not. Don't mislead the public. There are no more police officers today than there were yesterday. They're taking 500 officers as if they were never on the street and putting them into beat cars. They're acting as if they were assigned to some desk duty,” Shields said.

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