By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) After another violent Labor Day weekend in Chicago, the city has now recorded 512 murders for 2016, more murders than in all of 2015. 65 people were shot over the Labor Day weekend, 13 of them killed.
42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly talked about the statistics with Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano on “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS, saying the numbers prove clearly that it is time for the city to hire more police officers. The Police department says it is currently short 468 officers. That has happened because so many officers have retired in recent years, and the city has not been able to afford to replace them, because it does not have the money to pay health and pension expenses for new employees.
To try and fight the current crime epidemic, the city has instead spent $120 million dollars in overtime, but Alderman Reilly told WLS that is clearly not working.
“Now is the hire to hire more police officers. $120 million a year in overtime budgeting is not accomplishing the goal, clearly, in looking at the crime stats. It’s also wearing down our officers. When you’ve got officers working 65, 70 hours a week, judgement calls may not be as crisp as you would hope. And people make mistakes. So I do think that the Mayor is right to highlight this as a budget priority.”
Reilly also says even more officers are expected to retire next year, making the manpower shortage more acute. Last week Mayor Emanuel says he wanted to find the money to finally hire more cops, but he did not say where that money might come from.
© WLS-AM 890 News