AUBURN GRESHAM — Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave his top cop his full support Monday, but at the same time admitted his "impatience" with bringing down the city's murder rate.
The mayor made the remarks after a weekend story in the Sun-Times reported that Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), head of the City Council's African-American Caucus, said the "clock is ticking" on Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
"First and foremost, I support any of the aldermen's expressions of frustration. That is no different from my sense of urgency," Emanuel said at a news conference at Cuffe Academy in Auburn Gresham. "Garry McCarthy, Al Wysinger and the entire leadership of the Police Department have my 100 percent support. But they also have my sense of impatience to get the results throughout the city."
Brookins said he's "learned to believe what the mayor says." Yet he said his "biggest frustration" was over the 42 murders recorded citywide in January, most in African-American communities, after 509 were killed in the city last year.
"We need our citizens to feel they're safe and secure within our communities," Brookins said. "In hearing the mayor's outrage with respect to this and his impatience with respect to the crime rate, he captures our frustration and the sentiment of the African-American Caucus."
Brookins said he was working with the mayor and the Police Department to give them all the resources they need to succeed.
"More police, overtime, whatever it is that they're saying they need. We're looking for a result," Brookins said. "I'm not an expert with respect to crime reduction. I'm a results-oriented type guy."
Brookins said he was especially worried about the 42 January murders given how gun violence usually spikes in summer months.
"Only time will tell, and we'll see if these strategies will succeed going forward," he said. "It is hurting us in a number of ways."