Reports: Promised Cops Not Hitting Chicago Streets

The past seven days have been the most violent of 2018, with 85 people shot – at least nine fatally, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Nearly half of the shootings occurred in three police districts: the 11th Harrison District (25 shot), the 10th Ogden District (9 shot) and the 15th Austin District (5 shot).

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Despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s promise to hire 1,000 new police officers, 14 of the city’s 22 police districts have fewer beat cops, according to analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times. The 10th District saw 29 fewer beat cops from Oct. 26, 2017 to March 29 2018. Over that same period, the 11th District lost 32 beat cops, the Sun-Times reports.

In an email to Chicago Tonight, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the Sun-Times story “is very inaccurate and was irresponsible reporting.” He also shared a statement from Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson:

“Today CPD has hired over a thousand more officers to work on the street in our neighborhoods to fight crime, recover illegal guns and build relationships with our residents. By focusing on officers assigned to districts, you ignore those assigned to gun teams and gang teams and you ignore the hundreds of Field Training Officers, sergeants and lieutenants who are on the street. Last year we started an aggressive campaign to grow CPD by nearly 1,000 officers. As I stand here today I can tell you we are on track to fulfill that commitment.”

The number of supervisors, detectives and field training officers in the department has increased. But the number of murder cases solved or “cleared” in Chicago hit a new low last year, according to the Sun-Times, when just 17.5 percent of the 650 murders were cleared.

There has also been a drop in the percentage of African-American officers on the force between October 2016 and March 2018, according to the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Police Department is having difficulties in attracting black people to the force.

Only 14.3 percent of the officers hired in 2017 and 2018 were black, according to the Tribune. (The calculations were made based on 95 percent of the police department because “the department withheld identifying information for officers who serve in units that do covert work,” the Tribune writes.)

Joining us tonight: Dan Mihalopoulos, an investigative reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times; Dan Hinkel, a watchdog reporter at the Chicago Tribune; and Kevin Graham, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7.

We also invited representatives from the police department and the police academy.

Related stories:

New COPA Chief Sydney Roberts Starts at Revamped Police Oversight Body

City’s Top Cop on Crime and Policing in Chicago

Meet the New Police Union Boss Kevin Graham

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