Just yesterday we wrote a story about how Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had repeatedly broken his promises to increase manpower in districts across the North Side.
Today, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney received an update on manpower in the 19th (Town Hall) District that serves his ward.
“I was alarmed,” Tunney said in his weekly newsletter tonight.
He should be alarmed. And so should you.
Manpower in the 19th District fell to 352 cops this month, the lowest level since March 2016 and just 26 cops more than the district’s all-time manpower low in October 2015.
“It is completely contrary to the promises made by Superintendent Johnson when he met with me and 44th Ward community leaders in November 2017,” Tunney said. “At that meeting, he acknowledged the 19th District was short-staffed and stated that he would continue to add officers to the district.”
“The Superintendent agreed that to properly ensure public safety in a district as large as the 19th that includes several entertainment areas and the lakefront, more officers need to be assigned here. Instead of sending more officers to the 19th as promised, the numbers are moving in the opposite direction,” Tunney wrote. “This is unacceptable.”
Speaking of broken promises.
Alderman Tunney neglected to mention that he voted in favor of the city’s record-breaking 2015 property tax hike because he was told the 19th District would be staffed by at least 376 cops going forward. That’s hardly a lot of officers. The district was protected by 468 cops just a few years ago.
Of course, Tunney is passing the buck on this one. He ought to be out there pounding the table, making noise on TV and in the papers. He ought to be making himself Rahm and Johnson’s worst nightmare on behalf of his constituents. But he’s not doing that.
Today, he says, he “called the Mayor’s office and demanded that this issue be addressed by him immediately.”
Tunney also asked his constituents to start carrying his water. “Help me by calling the Mayor’s office at 312-744-3300 and the Superintendent’s Office at 312-745-6100 and tell them to improve staffing increases in the 19th District as promised.”
Don’t expect much when you call Rahm’s office. For months, Tunney has been asking constituents to “leave a message” for Emanuel at the same number. Needless to say, those phone calls have been ineffective at best.