GETTING PLAYED: Town Hall District Loses 12 More Cops In July; Alderman Calls It “Disturbing”

Officers assigned to 19th district by month | CPD

The 19th Police District lost 12 more cops this month, taking the district’s force to its lowest point since April 2016.

New data from the city shows that 363 cops are currently assigned to the area, down from 375 last month and well under the 468 officers who worked here before the city started slashing service under Mayor Rahm Emanuel in October 2011.

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Local Alderman Tom Tunney voted in favor of the city’s massive property tax hike plan in 2015 after (he says), Emanuel promised to raise the local force to a minimum staffing of 376 cops—-still well short of the level that used to protect the area.

It’s looking more and more like he—and local residents—are getting played.

The effects of short-staffing are evident. As we post this report, the district is in its 67th known “RAP” of the year.

RAP is lingo for Radio Assignments Pending. Chicago’s police dispatchers declare RAP status whenever a district has no police officers to handle incoming emergency calls.

Yesterday morning, a Boystown robbery victim’s call for help sat unassigned for 20 minutes because no cops were available to help.

One 19th District resident is not suffering, though. The mayor.

He’s Got The Beat

Police patrol areas are called “beats” and they usually cover dozens of city blocks and are assigned one police car.

But Chicago Police Department beat #1926 is different. Beat 1926 protects one city residential lot at 4228 North Hermitage.  The mayor’s house.

Whether there’s anyone home or not, beat 1926 is served by no less than six police officers and a sergeant. 24 hours a day. Seven days a week. 365 days a year.

At any given time, about 7% of our district’s on-duty manpower is dedicated to protecting the mayor’s real estate.

The Town Hall District stretches from Fullerton to Lawrence and from the Chicago River to Lake Michigan, making it one of the largest districts in the city geographically and by population.

Tunney today said he has found “a disturbing trend with decreases in manpower” at Town Hall.

Oddly, though, the alderman was not “disturbed” when the staffing level began falling from 468 cops.

His only major public effort to stem the tide came when public outrage became deafening, and the district’s staffing bottomed out at 326 cops.

Now that is disturbing.

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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