Emanuel Wants 457 More Cops to Fight Chicago Murder Rate

Emanuel Proposes Hiring 457 Police to Combat Chicago Murders

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed hiring of 457 police officers as the third-most-populous U.S. city grapples with a 28 percent spike in homicides.

“When homicides are up, even if overall crime is down significantly, our residents will not feel truly safe, and we must work even harder to stop the violence,” Emanuel, 52, said today in remarks released by his office before he presented his budget proposal to the City Council. “Violent crime continues to rip through too many of our neighborhoods, victimizing the community, and stealing our children’s sense of safety along with their childhood.”

The bolstering of the 12,500-officer force is part of Emanuel’s $8.3 billion spending plan for 2013 that eliminates a $298 million deficit and holds the line on taxes. It also ends a business tax for each worker employed.

Emanuel said next year’s budget shortfall would be closed with $67 million in cuts, $42 million in projected revenue growth, $40 million in debt refinancing, and $20 million in unspecified dismissals, among other reductions.

Chicago’s homicide rate jumped 28 percent through the first nine months of the year. Chicago police reported 406 homicides as of Sept. 30, up from 317 during the same period in 2011, according to department records. Emanuel and police officials have blamed gang activity for the increase.

Aldermen are pushing for more than the 457 recruits that Emanuel proposed today.

“Everybody would like the see more police, but can the city afford it? That’s the question,” said Alderman Ed Burke, chairman of the Finance Committee. “I think most experts would say you can never have too many police, but you have to deal with the reality of the situation.”


Bloomberg has the full article

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