A day after off-duty Chicago police officer Michael Bailey was killed, the city disclosed plans to hire 100 new cops, and the FBI joined the hunt for the killer, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. A shortage of officers is emboldening criminals, said a former high-ranking police official who said he’s “terrified” for officers because felons no longer fear the police. A two-year police hiring slowdown has left the department understaffed by more than 2,230 officers a day, below the city’s budget-authorized 13,200.
“The manpower situation in the Chicago Police Department is bad,” said Mark Donahue, president of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Guys are out there every day telling us they have to wait for backup. And we’re advising them to wait for backup for their own safety.” Despite another record budget shortfall, Mayor Richard Daley plans to reverse that trend with 100 new officers funded by savings generated by consolidating more city departments. Mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard said the hirings were set into motion weeks ago, before Sunday morning’s slaying of Bailey, whom Daley knew and called “a wonderful guy.”