EAST SIDE — Mayor Rahm Emanuel Friday confirmed a report that the Chicago Police department will hire more officers.
The Sun-Times Friday morning quoted Ald. Pat O'Connor (48th), Emanuel's floor leader, saying that the city was prepared to hire "hundreds" of new cops "in response to this incredible streak of gun violence."
Emanuel, speaking on the Far South Side, didn't go into detail about how many officers would be hired or how the city would fund these changes, but said there are "certain fiscal conditions that have improved in the city."
City officials have said that each officer hired would have an immediate cost of $100,000 in salaries and benefits. Emanuel was likely referring to funding sources, including a water and sewer tax, he's identified to help boost city pension funds.
Emanuel told reporters that more officers are on the street already as some Police Department duties have been turned over to civilians.
The city will also make a renewed push for tougher sentences for gun offenders, more economic opportunities for some communities and mentoring programs, Emanuel said.
"It's a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution," Emanuel said. "There is no one answer to the problem."
Emanuel had previously resisted calls to hire more police officers, preferring to reassign cops from desk duties to street work and by paying overtime to current police.
Emanuel said Friday he'll share more details at a Sept. 20 "major address" where he'll talk about public safety in the city.
This has been a particularly violent year for Chicago. The city has had more murders than New York and Los Angeles combined.
Dean Angelo Sr., president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, has called for more hiring, saying that present officers "are burned out, fried at both ends."
"They're burning a candle at both ends — both ends and in the middle," Angelo told DNAinfo Chicago in August. He said with all the overtime officers are putting in "they're working with one day off and they are exhausted — they are mentally, physically, emotionally drained."
A study by Governing magazine, analyzing at 2012 numbers, said Chicago had about 12,000 officers, or about 44 cops per 10,000 residents. By comparison, New York had about 42 police per 10,000 and Los Angeles had about 26 per 10,000. Washington DC had 61.2 per 10,000 people to lead the nation among big cities.
Emanuel says more CPD officers will be hired. pic.twitter.com/3hJQt2A135— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) September 2, 2016
Criminal justice system is "undermining" work of CPD, Emanuel says. pic.twitter.com/bli21uS2Ss— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) September 2, 2016
Emanuel says he'll share more details on public safety plan later this month. pic.twitter.com/ktvpq5HGo6— Kelly Bauer (@BauerJournalism) September 2, 2016
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