For the past few years the Democrats have embarked on a heavy anti-police campaign in an apparent attempt to “defund the police,” but now, Americans in one of the largest cities in the country are in danger thanks to the left’s carelessness.
Chicago is reportedly suffering from a massive “officer shortage” after a number of officers have recently decided to quit the force or transfer out of the Democrat run city to smaller departments.
“Chicago police officers aren’t only retiring in record numbers, many are leaving the big city department for smaller ones,” the city’s CBS affiliate reported Tuesday. “It’s contributing to an officer shortage that many city leaders believe will only get worse before it gets better.”
Chicago Police Department is engaged in a nationwide campaign to recruit police officers, but the city is still down nearly 1,600 officers and they’re concerned they may never be able to fill those positions.
Officers who spoke to CBS Chicago noted that the problems go beyond simple burnout, though that is a contributing factor to many officers’ decision to leave the department. Officers cited long working hours, mandatory overtime, and low pay as reasons they departed Chicago for other cities or decided to simply leave the force entirely.
At least one Alderman, though, added that being a Chicago cop is a thankless job, and it has only gotten harder in recent years.
“People don’t want to be the police. The police don’t want to be the police,” Alderman Anthony Beale of Chicago’s 9th Ward told the paper, adding that the problem is actually worse than the city will admit.
“The Chicago Police Department’s training academy will churn out a virtual conveyor belt of recruits — with monthly classes October through December and all of next year — to fill 877 sworn vacancies triggered, in part, by an avalanche of police retirements,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported last month.
“By July 31, 640 Chicago police officers already had put in their retirement papers. Budget Director Susie Park told the City Council’s Committee on Budget and Government Operations she expects that attrition rate to rise to 725 officers by year’s end.”
“The department is struggling to fill 1,066 vacancies — 877 of them among sworn officers. The other 189 are civilian positions,” the outlet noted.
Beale, though, says that number is misleading and that budget cuts to the city’s police force mean the issue is much worse. “People fail to realize last year we wiped out 614 vacancies out of last year’s budget, and when we talk about that we’re down 1,000 officers, we’re actually down 1,600 officers,” he said.
There are not many willing to fill those slots, even if Chicago’s police academy is trying to speed up the process for training officers.
“At a budget hearing this week, Police Supt. David Brown told committee members about 5,000 people have applied to Chicago’s police academy this year, compared to around 30,000 in years past,” CBS Chicago noted. Ald. Beale says he believes there are fewer than 100 people currently in the police academy, and given the department’s rate of attrition among recruits, only about half of those are expected to graduate.
To make matters even more dangerous for the city’s residents, Chicago is simultaneously suffering from a spike in crime and the Democrat leadership doesn’t have a clue how to fix it.
Chicago’s public radio station, WBEZ reported in September that “Chicago murders are outpacing any year in a quarter-century.” So far, according to unofficial counts, more than 3,000 people have been shot and more than 600 killed. Over the past 12 months, nearly 800 people have been murdered, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Author: John Roberts