|19th District staffing levels as provided to Ald. Tom Tunney by the Chicago Police Department|
Fresh 19th District manpower numbers are out this evening and, if you’re not careful, you might go away thinking that our district gained 19 officers already this year.
But we haven’t. We’ve gained eleven—that’s fourteen short of the staffing level promised to us by public officials.
Even the skeptical CWBChicago editors fell victim to the numbers illusion when we wrote our manpower report last Sunday.
But we’ve had our bearings straightened and we’re here to make a correction and to show you exactly how the city’s manpower number can be misleading on its face.
In late October 2015, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney said he reached an agreement to have 19th District manpower increased by 25 officers in the first quarter of 2016 plus 10 more through the rest of 2016 in exchange for his vote in favor of Chicago’s record-setting property tax hike.
This evening, Tunney released 19th district manpower numbers that he received from CPD headquarters. The headcount numbers parallel the numbers that we published earlier this week.
In looking at the grid above, the casual reader would see that our district had 333 total officers during the first 4 weeks (“policing period”) of this year.
In the 4th policing period of the year, which began March 27, there are 352 officers.
To the casual eye, that may seem to show an increase of 19 officers this year.
Except that’s the wrong comparison.
The correct way to measure manpower change for 2016 is to compare current manpower with the number of officers that we had at the end of 2015—the thirteenth policing period.
So, manpower in the first quarter only increased by 11 officers—14 cops short of the 25 promised.
An error was made in our March 27 report regarding 19th District manpower and the promised increase of 25 officers during the first quarter of 2016.
In our report, CWBChicago erroneously used January 2016 manpower numbers as the starting point to determine manpower growth for 2016. That was a mistake. The end of 2015 is the correct starting point to measure change during 2016. We regret the error and we have updated our original report.