Violence-Plagued Chicago Studies Redeploying Police

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As Chicago’s police work to bring surging violence under control, the city will commission the first in-depth study during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s tenure on how officers are deployed throughout Chicago, the Chicago Tribune reports. The decision to conduct the study, the first since 2010, suggests the department could shake up the placement of officers. After years of saying the city could do without more police, Emanuel has announced plans to add nearly 1,000 officers. In a budget hearing yesterday, Police, Superintendent Eddie Johnson acknowledged that the department hasn’t always allocated police effectively throughout the city.

“The department hasn’t done a good job of ensuring that some of our police districts have the amount of resources that they could because we have a tendency to pull everything into the most violent districts,” Johnson said. The issue is politically fraught, with aldermen facing questions from constituents about staffing levels in their wards. Emanuel is trying to bulk up the department to combat violence even as he pushes reforms spurred by public outrage over police shootings and alleged misconduct among officers. The appearance marked Johnson’s first budget hearing since Emanuel appointed him last spring. The 28-year department veteran succeeded Garry McCarthy, who was forced to resign amid the political fallout of the city’s release of video of white officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times.

 

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