Chicago police plan to double the number of officers working overtime on their days off beginning Friday in an effort to tamp down the number of homicides plaguing the city, the Chicago Tribune reports. Police brass say 400 rank-and-file officers and 40 sergeants will be needed every day of the week as part of the department’s overtime violence-reduction initiative to supplement the thousands of officers working their usual shifts.
Since the initiative began last summer, an average of 200 officers and about 20 sergeants were needed for overtime shifts five days a week. The beefed-up overtime effort comes as police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel face pressure to address the city’s increasing number of homicides. Last year Chicago exceeded 500 homicides for the first time since 2008, and January had 42 killings, the most for that month since 2002. The Jan. 29 fatal shooting of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton brought international attention to Chicago’s rampant gun violence.