Chicago plans to hire 500 additional police officers, promote hundreds of cops to sergeant and detective, and spend more on programs that help youth growing up in some of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods, reports the city’s Tribune. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was expected to announce some details of the plan on Wednesday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will give more details in a speech Thursday, including funding for mentoring and education for disadvantaged youth.
Amid surging gun violence in poor neighborhoods, Chicago has struggled to hire enough officers to keep pace with officer retirements and departures. The city has the second-largest municipal force in the nation, behind New York, with more than 12,000 officers. The hiring plan is a shift in policy as shootings have spiked this year. Emanuel has insisted for years that the current number of officers has been enough to fight crime, and the mayor instead has relied on upward of $100 million a year in overtime to patrol the most crime-ridden neighborhoods. It was unclear Tuesday night exactly how much the new policing plan would cost or how the city would pay for it.