Chicago Closing 3 Police Stations, Integrating Police-Fire Operations


The Chicago Police Department will close three district police stations in 2012, consolidate police and detective areas from five to three, and merge Police and Fire Department headquarters and specialized units, says Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Instead of having “overlapping functions” in the Police and Fire Departments overseeing anti-terrorism, marine activities, helicopter and bomb and arson, those units will join forces under “single leadership” for “better coordination at key moments,” the mayor said, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

“No other city to date has looked at both the headquarters and integrating certain areas into kind of a single public safety mission,” the mayor said, joking that the Police and Fire Departments would maintain “separate football and softball teams.” The Sun-Times reported last month that Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy was exploring the politically-volatile idea of closing district police stations to save millions and free scores of officers for street duty. Sources said the stations being closed were chosen because of their relatively low crime statistics and the ability of nearby stations with similarly low numbers to absorb the operations.

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