GOING SOLO: Cop Needs Back-Up, No Cars Available

Regular CWB readers know that the 19th district is dangerously understaffed. The district police commander has said that the district has lost 15% of its manpower since March 2012. We believe the actual number of officers lost is significantly greater than that.

Running low or completely out of police officers is not only bad for citizens who need help. It’s dangerous for the cops. The following transpired over the course of four minutes, beginning at 11:54 this morning:

UNIT 1996: 3720 Lincoln. Get me a [back-up] car.

DISPATCHER: All right. we’ll get you a car. 3720 N Lincoln. [Unit] 1996 is looking for a back up there. Any tact units around? 3720 north on Lincoln? 


DISPATCHER: Who can take a ride? […} 1961 Adam? 1961 Boy? 1904 Charlie? 1906 Adam?

UNIT 1906: We’ll go. We’re not close, though.

[..]  [Silence] 

DISPATCHER: Anyone near? Let me know. 


1996: He’s now in custody. 

UNKNOWN SUPERVISOR: Is every car on assignment or something? What’s going on? 

DISPATCHER: Traffic stop, sir. Traffic stop. He has him in custody now. He asked for a back up. 

UNKNOWN SUPERVISOR: No cars available to back him up? I’m just curious. 

DISPATCHER: There isn’t. I’m sorry. There are no cars. 10 sector’s down. 20 sector’s down. 30 sector’s down. 


DISPATCHER: 1996. Are you all right, sir? 

UNIT 1996: I’m fine now. Good thing I didn’t need…an assist. I’d be dead by now.


  • DEPLETED: Times Our District Ran Out of Cops 
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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com