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City Applies For Federal Grants To Hire More Cops

By Camela Furry in News on Jun 30, 2009 2:40PM

2009_06_29_CPD car.jpg
Photo by James Herman
At the end of this year, Chicago could be short 800 cops compared to last year the police union told the Sun-Times. The shortage is attributed to vacancies, attrition rates, and Mayor Daley’s 2009 budget which has significantly slowed down hiring. Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis told the Sun-Times last week that the CPD hopes to use federal grant money to hire 150 new officers this year. In the short term Weis will manage the officer shortage by shifting officers from desk jobs, or pay officers overtime with federal grants to cover the streets this summer.

Yesterday the Sun-Times reported that the city is going to apply for $106 million in grants to hire 400 new officers but the grants come with a condition, the grants will expire after three years at which time the city is required to keep the officers on the payroll for at least another year. In a news conference, Mayor Daley addressed how the city will afford to keep paying the federally funded officers after the grants expire.

“This is 2009. You have 2010, 11, 12, and 13. Truly, if the United States of America is not out of this recession [by that time], then we have major, major economic problems”, and “By [20]13, we should be out of this. If not, then it’s much more serious than anyone ever predicted….That’s three or four years away.”

Daley is ready to lay off a total of 1,504 city employees and if those layoffs happen, “296 civilian police employees will lose their jobs as crossing guards, detention aides, and traffic control aides, forcing uniformed police officers to do jobs that have nothing to do with fighting crime,” per the Sun-Times' report.