Shortages? What Shortages?
The Chicago Police Department is alarmingly understaffed, according to 20 aldermen who are demanding that the city act now to ramp up recruits and put more cops on the beat.
The department is fully staffed at 13,500 officers, but retirements have left more than 700 spots to be filled. When others factors are added, like disability leave, furlough days and sick leave, there are days when fewer than 11,500 police are actually on on duty.
The short staffing is spread throughout the city's 23 police districts, according to Fraternal Order of Police head Mark Donahue. He said the number of cops on the street drops an additional 10 to 19 percent of when officers are pulled out of a district and assigned to special details like narcotics.
And once again, the media does a poor job explaining that the 11, 500 number (which is badly overstated) is spread over three shifts, so at any given time there are only a few thousand cops on duty. Less if you figure a sizable percentage are working inside.
Someone needs to point out (again) that we haven't had a class in the Academy recently. The 86 or so there at the moment are the first hires in over 2 years. Retirements didn't stop and Daley was holding that salary money for his No-lympic dream. Now this class, along with another scheduled one around 01 May will begin covering the retirement shortfall - from 2008!
Our readers tell us numerous districts are operating at 50% of assigned strength during the midnight shift. This isn't a question of "if something bad happens" anymore - it's a question of "when?"
Labels: department issues