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Expect More Police On Public Transit, In Parks This Summer

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 30, 2014 7:30PM

Photo credit: Stephanie Barto

Parks, buses trains and public housing across Chicago will see an increased police presence this summer under a new program announced Tuesday. The Summer Surge initiative is a project between the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Parks District and Chicago Transit Authority where each agency will help pay for the overtime costs for the police necessary for the program.

According to the Sun-Times, 100 additional officers will be required on weekdays, 200 on weekends and 300 on holiday weekends, and the four agencies will work together to determine where those police will be deployed. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said the program will be slowly phased in and fully operational by June 1.

The program benefits the Police Department, which has earmarked $70 million this year for overtime costs related to McCarthy’s “saturation” techniques to fight crime in areas of Chicago identified as high crime areas. If the Police Department's 2013 overtime costs are an indicator, that is a lowball number, especially as McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have balked at the idea of hiring more cops.

McCarthy and the Emanuel administration must be additionally concerned about the rise in violent crime as the weather warms and tourists hit downtown and Streeterville, the center of mob actions by teens in recent years. Additionally, the Police Department has canceled weekend days off for officers assigned to tactical, saturation and gun units. They’ll be working holidays and weekends in high-crime areas, which should add to the Police Department’s overtime totals.