Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weis: Police shift overdue

Most of us who have been watching what's going on with Chicago Police know that our police chief has been taking a beating. It could be from other city politicos, citizens, even within the ranks of Chicago Police. Even from the former police chief of the LAPD.

Whether or not Weis remains police chief after the new mayor enters City Hall's 5th floor I hope that the issue of shifting police to where the crime is will be visited. This will not be a beat realignment - that is redrawing the city's 281 beats according to changes in crime and population - which would have to wait until the city's wards are redone. Instead:
But two years into a hiring slowdown that has left the Chicago Police Department more than 2,300 officers a day short of authorized strength, Weis is prepared to take decisive action.

"We anticipate in the very near future of having a resource re-allocation that will better balance the workload of our officers throughout the entire city. We will re-allocate our resources to address where the crimes actually are," Weis said.

"I know I've talked about this for two years. We will deliver it in 2010. . . . We can't go three decades without adjusting resources again. That's inexcusable. . . . We're not talking about changing districts or beats right now. This is . . . a resource realignment to make sure we put those officers where they need to be based upon . . . a formula we would be able to adjust on a regular basis should crime shift, should communities change."

Weis did not say which police districts stand to lose officers and which districts stand to gain. He would only say that some districts "have an additional number of police officers above and beyond what analysis has proven they actually need. So we can move some of those officers to a district where analysis has shown they need some more."
Hat-tip to Brian Sleet for Alderman. This is an issue that should be raised. Beat realignment has been mentioned over the years, but no significant movement has been made on that issue.

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