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New Police Cars To Be Built At South Side Ford Plant

By Ted Cox | October 6, 2016 10:51am | Updated on October 7, 2016 11:26am
 New Chicago Police SUVs to serve the Department's almost 1,000 new officers will be built at the South Side Ford plant.
New Chicago Police SUVs to serve the Department's almost 1,000 new officers will be built at the South Side Ford plant.
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DNAinfo/Michael Shin

CITY HALL — The City Council approved $25 million in borrowing Wednesday to pay for new police SUVs to serve the almost 1,000 new officers to be hired over the next two years, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is making sure the business stays in Chicago.

As part of the plan, Emanuel announced that the new Interceptor SUVs would be built at the Ford Assembly Plant at 12600 S. Torrence Ave.

According to Emanuel's press office, the plant has added 1,200 employees and an extra shift to meet over demand for the Interceptor SUVs. Ford says the plant currently employs 4,239 people.

The plan allows the city to "continue our investment in the growing Chicago manufacturing industry and provide our Police Department with the tools they need to serve and protect our neighborhoods effectively," Emanuel said.

The City Council signed off on the extra $25 million in bonds to pay for reportedly 600 squad cars expected to be needed for the hiring of 970 new officers announced last month by Emanuel and Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. They'll be hired over the next two years and will take the Department's number of sworn officers from 12,565 to 13,535 by the end of 2018.

The Police Department expansion is expected to address the spike in violent crime, shootings and murders this year.

The massive Ford plant, opened in 1924, is the company's oldest. The company invested $400 million in the plant in 2010 and announced another $900 million in improvements in 2015.

Emanuel also announced Thursday that the Department had received an annual grant for $3.1 million from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. It's expected to pay for 25 officers focusing on community policing.

Although the Emanuel administration has been criticized for de-emphasizing Chicago's CAPS system, the mayor restated his support for community policing as a "never-ending process" following Wednesday's City Council meeting.

According to the Mayor's Office, the city has received $11.2 million from the federal programs since 2012, accounting for the hiring of 90 officers.

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