Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Thursday offered a glimpse into Mayor Rahm Emanuel's upcoming city budget, which will be introduced next week, when he announced that new cops will be hired by the city beginning in 2012.
"We are going to be hiring more," McCarthy said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We’re putting that into the budget. The issue is, how many we can hire and when we can do it."
McCarthy said CPD will be hiring more officers for the first time in over a year at a press conference announcing the redeployment of 138 Chicago cops from police lockups to the streets. At the event, Emanuel claimed that, by the year's end, he will have achieved his campaign promise of delivering 1,000 additional cops to the city's streets. As the Chicago Tribune's Kristen Mack notes, however, that promise has been rephrased slightly in recent weeks -- from "on the streets" to "on a beat."
And though some have continued to question the mayor's math concerning the fulfillment of that promise, regardless of how it is phrased -- roughly half of the officers he is counting were already working on the streets in special units, rather than on specific beats -- Emanuel stands by his assertion. He points to an reduction in crime citywide as evidence his policing plan is working.
(Scroll down to watch the mayor discuss crime in the city and the redeployment of police.)
"I got it," Emanuel said, as reported by CBS 2. "I’m only 132 days into a four-year term … But 1,019 officers have been applied from where they were before to the street and the most important number of this is not the 1,019 – that here in the 8th District, Chicago Lawn, there has been a 25 percent drop from last year’s crime. That’s the number that I focus on."
Still, despite the news of redeployments and new hires, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president Mike Shields remained decidedly unimpressed until further details of the planned new hires are disclosed. He has previously described the mayor's claim that he is putting 1,000 new cops on the streets as "the Emanuel shuffle."
"How many and when? Is it after the NATO and G-8 [summits in May]?" Shields told the Sun-Times. "We’re not prepared for thousands of protesters coming into Chicago. We can’t absorb them if we can’t handle 14-year-olds getting murdered."
At the same time that new hires are being rumored, Emanuel has tasked McCarthy with identifying $190 million in cuts in his $1.3 billion annual budget -- cuts that will not be achieved simply by leaving vacant positions unstaffed.