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Aldermen Applaud Plan to Move More Police From Desk Duty to the Streets

By Ted Cox | September 21, 2015 12:47pm | Updated on September 22, 2015 12:02pm
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to put 319 more police officers on the street.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to put 319 more police officers on the street.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — Aldermen cheered a mayoral proposal to put 319 more police officers on the street Monday as a spoonful of sugar to help the 2016 budget get passed.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that he'd move an additional 319 officers off desk duty and onto the street, replacing them with administrative workers, as part of his 2016 budget proposal to be submitted to the City Council on Tuesday.

According to Emanuel, the officers "are currently working as Freedom of Open Information Officers, nurses, crossing-guard supervisors, watch relief/police aides, watch secretaries, alternate response call takers, detention aides and property custodians." He has previously touted moving officers from desk duty to the streets during spikes in shootings and violence.

"I'm all for putting more cops on the street," said Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) at City Hall on Monday. "I want to understand the details and how they're back-filling those positions and what can be eliminated altogether."

Reilly added that he wanted details on "what the impact is to the ledger," but granted that it would be something they can show voters in the face of what's expected to be a $500 million hike in property taxes as part of the 2016 budget Emanuel proposes Tuesday.

"It's hard to argue against a budget priority that includes more cops," Reilly said.

Reilly has been outspoken in demanding more police along the Magnificent Mile, but added Monday, "We'd like to see them in every ward."

Said Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th): "Is it gonna make a huge difference? It's gonna help."

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