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Mayor Richard M. Daley said today that assigning more police officers to street duty will be a priority in his 2011 City Budget proposal, which he will make public tomorrow before the City Council.
By fall, 2011, through re-assignments and Police Academy graduates, the City will have added between 780 and 830 police officers to street duty in a two-year period, the Mayor said.
“In our everyday fight against the gang and drug thugs who terrorize our neighborhoods and use guns to intimidate and murder our residents and young people, we are using every tool we can,” Daley said in a City Hall news conference.
“That's why, in this budget, we will continue to address the most immediate and pressing problem facing many of our neighborhoods -- violence on our streets and in our homes,” he said.
The Mayor said developing the City budget requires balancing the need to be fiscally responsible with the need to provide important services to people.
He said the most immediate and pressing problem facing many of the City’s neighborhoods is violence on the streets and in homes.
““The Chicago Police Department continues to revise its strategies across Chicago to assure they are best targeting their resources, especially in those neighborhoods most at risk of gun and other violence. That's why we've worked to pull as many police officers as possible from behind desks and place them on street duty,” Daley said.
The Mayor said that:
- Based on efficiency studies, already in the past year the Police Department has transferred 212 officers from desk jobs to street duty.
- Based on a recent assessment of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), 111 officers will be re-assigned from CAPS to street patrol this within the next week. He said the step will increase efficiency, ensure that the original goals and objectives of CAPS are met and eliminate duplication of efforts.
- The Police Department has hired 314 officers in the past year-and-a-half.
- Next year, the City will invest in and conduct two more police classes, which depending on attrition should add 150-200 new officers to the force -- and to street duty.
- As previously announced, the City is seeking vendors to compete for the right to administer a new entry level police officer examination.
“Our first priority remains to put more police on street duty. We know that a greater police presence is important to the safety of our neighborhoods,” he said.
The Mayor said that in addition to assigning more officers to street patrol, the 2011 budget will support:
- Continued investment in the strategies that have reduced violence in many neighborhoods.
- A reinvented CAPS program that more fully engages neighborhood volunteers, and
- Continued efforts to enact stronger state gun laws, to protect children by enforcing the curfew and to enhance the City’s system of neighborhood safety cameras.
Daley said that ending the violence must be Chicago's crusade and all residents must do their part -- the police can’t do it all.
“In the meantime, we must remain creative and deliver on our commitment to better manage government and do more with less and keep our city as safe and secure as it can be. The steps I will propose in the 2011 budget do exactly that,” he said.
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