When city officials announced that the 19th and 23rd police districts would be merged in October 2011, they promised that there would be no reduction in officers on the street and no cutbacks in service.
Despite those promises from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney, 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith, and 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar, the joined district’s staffing level remains 18% lower than before the merger.
Of the many aldermen whose wards are protected in whole or in part by our district, only 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack urged caution about the plan in 2011.
The merged 19th District spans from Fullerton Avenue to Lawrence Avenue and from the Chicago River to Lake Michigan.
While that area was protected by 468 cops in October 2011, only 384 officers patrol it today, according to data from the Chicago Police Department.
While off of its low-point of 326 officers in October 2015, the area is still significantly understaffed, according to cops who work the district.
Most officers on day shifts patrol alone as do about half of the evening shift officers, according to patrolmen who spoke with CWB Chicago recently.
So, while alderman will continue to brag about the district getting “more” officers, just remember the truth: Manpower is still down sharply. And you can blame the aldermen and the mayor for allowing it to happen.
Kinda like the kid in school who steals your lunch and then expects you to thank them when they “share” one of your potato chips with you.