A Chicago alderman has announced that he feels the city needs to hire for police jobs in Chicago to fill a shortage that has left residents feeling scared and unprotected.
Robert Fioretti, who is thinking of running for mayor, said the PD needs to hire at least 1,000 officers to get back on track. He also acknowledged that the hiring spree would contribute $70 million to the $656 million budget shortfall the city is currently dealing with.
But Fioretti said the lack of large numbers of officers on the streets of Chicago are contributing to an unsafe and perilous environment and that this necessitates a much greater number of policeman to replenish the gaps.
The Chicago police department has recently faced a two-year hiring slowdown, similar to many other police departments around the country. But Fioretti said this can no longer go unattended.
Mayor Daley said he plans on hiring 100 officers right now, but Fioretti said this barely scratches the surface.
Fioretti said that people are leaving the city out of fear and that police officers are getting beat on their own turf without strength in numbers.
He said the economic survival of Chicago depends on the hiring of these police officers.
The police superintendent said that crime and the homicide rate has actually decreased. July homicides were down 24%, for example.
Fioretti said that departments could be consolidated to make up for the $70 million shortfall. But he emphasizes that the safety of citizens comes first. He also said that a slain police officer is an example of why Chicago desperately needs new officers.
Currently at least three other aldermen are considering running for mayor of Chicago.