With homicides soaring this year and another bloody weekend, Chicago police say overtime will be paid to officers working their days off beginning this weekend, reports the Chicago Tribune. A memo from First Deputy Superintendent Alfonza Wysinger makes clear that the initiative is targeted at curbing the growing violence. It comes at a time when the city is struggling with budget woes. Through Sunday, 223 people were slain in Chicago, up 36 percent from the same period last year.
It was unclear if the overtime would be paid throughout the summer or how many officers would be tapped for the program, but the officers could be assigned anywhere in the city. “Officers will be expected to implement aggressive, proactive violence reduction policing methods including but not limited to street stops, traffic stops, foot patrol, physical arrests and enforcement missions,” the memo said. The Fraternal Order of Police, which has been critical of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent Garry McCarthy for not hiring additional officers to combat the rising violence, called the overtime initiative a “Band-Aid approach.”