Heading into the scond year of a hiring slowdown, the Chicago Police Department is nearly 2,000 officers short of its authorized strength of 13,500, counting vacancies, medical leave and limited duty, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. After hiring only 46 police officers this year, Mayor Richard Daley’s 2010 budget counts on federal stimulus funds to boost manpower next year. Still, just 86 officers are to be added, 30 of them to patrol buses and trains.
“We’ve lost more personnel than any other city department, which should be a grave concern for officer safety and public safety,” said Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “A lot of guys are detailed out of districts to other units, leaving manpower in district law enforcement even shorter.” Last year, Police Superintendent Jody Weis said he would deliver on a promise made and broken by at least four of his predecessors to realign Chicago’s 281 police beats. He has yet to make good on that promise.