Friday, September 2, 2011

Alderman: Target police, fire contracts to reduce budget deficit - Chicago Sun-Times

Alderman: Target police, fire contracts to reduce budget deficit - Chicago Sun-Times
Mayor Rahm Emanuel could wring $300 million from the combined $1.8 billion budgets of Chicago’s Police and Fire Departments, in part by dramatically altering union contracts that expire June 30, an influential alderman said Thursday.

“There’s no more sacred cows when the taxpayers are hurting like they are,” said Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), former chairman of the City Council’s Police and Fire Committee.

Beale has already infuriated the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) by targeting the $1,800-a-year uniform allowance officers receive as well as duty-availability pay, a $2,800-a-year lump sum that essentially compensates officers for being on call at any time.

Now, he’s going even further.

Instead of having the same number of police officers assigned to every watch and district, Beale is talking about putting officers when and where the crime is. That would allow Emanuel to eliminate 1,400 police vacancies and shrink the police force through attrition.

“I know it’s an unpopular thing to say. ... But if you put the officers where they’re needed vs. where they’re wanted, you could see a reduction,” he said.
 Ald. Beale was a one-time chairman of the city council's police and fire committee. What do you think of his proposal?

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