Chicago has lost 24% of its district patrol officers under the current administration, as leaders continue to mislead about canceling days off

In late May, after Chicago Police Supt. David Brown publicly denied that some of the city’s police officers were being ordered to work 11 days in a row, we dubbed him the “Lyin’ King” in a story that included CPD’s own scheduling records to show that cops really were being ordered to work that long without a break.

Now, the Chicago Office of the Inspector General has confirmed our reporting. In a new publication, the IG found that more than 1,000 cops had been ordered to work 11 or more consecutive days during April and May alone. That’s due to the department’s recurring cancellation of days off.

On Monday, Brown again wrongly claimed that “five or six” police officers had worked more than ten straight days. But that’s not what the IG report said. In fact, city inspectors said they couldn’t tell how many of the 1,000-plus officers worked 11 or more days in a row because the CPD’s recordkeeping is a mess. The five specific examples they listed in their report were just that—examples.

But Brown wasn’t done making false claims on Monday. After wrongly summarizing the IG’s report, he claimed that the department is not canceling days off for officers who are scheduled to be off on Labor Day.

Yet, CPD’s latest “Weekend Cancellation Matrix” shows that the department is canceling Labor Day days off for cops in three units who would not normally be working.

A previous version of the cancellation matrix, which showed canceled weekends for officers through January 2, indicated that the department planned to cancel some officers’ days off on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

We contacted a CPD spokesperson to confirm the department’s holiday cancellation plans on Friday and again on Monday. He did not respond.

Understaffed

After a driver killed three men and injured a fourth outside Jeffery Pub earlier this month, it took Chicago police more than 20 minutes to arrive on scene, according to CPD dispatch records. On August 16, we told you about the incredible delay and we posted audio of the local district police dispatcher’s efforts to find an available car to respond.

CPD declined to comment on its response time for our story “due to the ongoing investigation.”

But we’ve learned that understaffing, especially on overnights, is a serious problem in the Grand Crossing (3rd) District, which includes Jeffery Pub. Recent schedules provided to CWBChicago show that Grand Crossing has been dangerously understaffed on overnight shifts.

On July 23, only six of the district’s 12 beat cars were operating overnight and one of those was operated by a cop who was working solo. Another one was staffed by a newly-hired probationary officer and their field training officer. Only one sergeant was on duty for the entire district.

Other schedules since then show only seven or eight beat cars are typically operating and only one sergeant is usually in the field each night.

Grand Crossing ranks fourth out of CPD’s 22 districts for shootings and murders year-to-date, according to HeyJackass.com, which independently tracks Chicago crime statistics.

Since Brown took over as CPD’s superintendent in April 2020, the Grand Crossing district has lost 25% of its cops, dropping from 372 officers to just 279, according to the Office of Inspector General.

Grand Crossing is not alone. Under Brown’s leadership, the average CPD district has lost 23% of its officers. And the biggest losses have been in two districts that patrol Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods.

The Englewood (7th) District has lost 30% of its cops since Brown came to town, according to the IG. So has the Harrison (11th) District.

Most other parts of town aren’t faring well, either. The Near North (18th) District covers areas like River North Streeterville, Old Town, and much of Lincoln Park. It has lost 29% of its cops under Brown. The Central (1st) District, which includes the Loop and South Loop, is down 27%.

Here’s a look at how staffing levels have changed in each CPD district since April 2020:

April 2020August 2022Change
1 – Central339249-27%
2 – Wentworth386293-24%
3 – Grand Crossing372284-24%
4 – South Chicago400308-23%
5 – Calumet362302-17%
6 – Gresham439330-25%
7 – Englewood473331-30%
8 – Chicago Lawn420307-27%
9 – Deering417312-25%
10 – Ogden388310-20%
11 – Harrison469329-30%
12 – Near West385289-25%
14 – Shakespeare298222-26%
15 – Austin358295-18%
16 – Jefferson Park268215-20%
17 – Albany Park244232-5%
18 – Near North416295-29%
19 – Town Hall390286-27%
20 – Lincoln253209-17%
22 – Morgan Park291234-20%
24 – Rogers Park307224-27%
25 – Grand Central439320-27%

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About CWBChicago 6779 Articles
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