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Countdown to Rahmageddon: Use TIFs to Hire Cops

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 22, 2010 3:00PM

Rahm as a hot pepper, via Lauri Apple.
Yesterday, Rahm Emanuel waded into the subject of police reallocation by saying he'd rather hire an extra 250 police using tax increment financing funds. Emanuel suggested the new cops could work in the citywide Targeted Response Unit, but would work within high-crime areas that fall within TIF districts.

In defending his theory, Emanuel said:

"(P)art of the principle of economic development is that fighting crime creates a space to allow economic growth and job growth to occur."

TIF funds are mainly used to create jobs and redevelop depressed neighborhoods, but under Mayor Daley the TIF funds have become a glorified slush fund controlled by the mayor to allocate as he wishes. Daley has also dipped into the TIF funds to help balance next year's budget, which Emanuel himself has criticized.

Emanuel's opponents in the mayoral election, Miguel del Valle and Danny Davis, agreed that more cops are needed but questioned whether TIF funds should be used for that. Gerry Chico said that using TIF money to hire cops is unworkable under state law, and suggested bringing on new cops would require reqorking the city budget.