Despite promises of staffing increases, the Chicago Police Department has fewer beat officers in patrol districts across the city than before Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office, says the Chicago Sun-Times. In May 2011, Emanuel had pledged to assign 1,000 more cops to high-crime areas without reducing the police presence in other parts of the city. But as of Oct. 15, 6,638 officers were assigned to police beats citywide, down from 6,746 beat cops at the start of 2011.
While nine districts now have more officers than they did, most districts have fewer beat cops than before Emanuel and his police superintendent, Garry McCarthy, reassigned hundreds of officers. The reason: For every newly hired officer assigned to a beat during the past two years, six other officers have retired. And because about 1,200 retirements have sharply depleted the payroll, staffing is again declining. The police officers’ union has called for increased hiring. McCarthy promised last week that about 450 police academy recruits soon will boost the force, and the department is budgeted to add another 500 officers in 2013 to pace with retirements.