Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy plans to hire up to 500 officers this year to maintain the department's current strength, says the Chicago Sun-Times. He already has hired 89, including 46 recruits who graduated in April and 43 recruits who began training Monday at the police academy. The latest crop of recruits includes cops from other jurisdictions and veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
McCarthy is trying to maintain a force of 12,500 sworn employees, including 9,600 officers. The 500 recruits will counterbalance expected retirements this year. Maintaining the status quo in hiring will not satisfy the Fraternal Order of Police, which has been calling for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to boost the number of cops above the current level. In May, the FOP paid to put up billboards on three expressways that said: “Keep Chicago Safe. Hire More Police Officers.”