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Chicago Police Overtime tops $116 Million Because of Officer Shortage, Protests

April 05, 2016  | 

The Chicago Police Department spent a record $116.1 million on overtime in 2015 — up 17.2 percent from the previous year — to mask a manpower shortage that has mushroomed under Mayor Rahm Emanuel, with police retirements outpacing hiring by 975 officers.

A Chicago Sun-Times report says the traditional summer surge in street violence triggered the highest monthly spending, with $16.8 million in overtime in August 2015.

But the second-highest monthly spending on police overtime — $10.4 million — occurred in November. That’s when a judge ordered the city to release the video of a white Chicago Police officer pumping 16 rounds into the body of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

As Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder, protesters took to the streets to demand the resignations of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Emanuel and then-Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. Chicago Police officers worked overtime, trying to keep those demonstrations peaceful.

Retirement numbers released in response to a separate open-records request filed by the Sun-Times help explain the need for excessive amounts of overtime.

The records show that 2,575 Chicago Police officers have retired since Emanuel took office in May 2011.

Comments (9)

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9

kevCopAz @ 4/5/2016 7:13 PM

Man citizens get it from both ends, politicians cut or don't replace retiring officers then the BLM (etc) demonstrate causing the understaffed PD to work more hours! Both entities are Democrat and that city has always been run by Dems, ero go its the Democrats fault that the city will go the way of the Detroit (Dem run) and Philly (De, run) and NYC (Dem run) and don't forget LA (Dem run) all of which are in financial trouble as are the states (other then NY and PA maybe) the cities are located in. People, remember elections and policy both have their consequences! Well at the least the cops are getting some cash in return for all the stuff they are having to take! Ching Ching

Percy @ 4/5/2016 8:42 PM

Wow that's one interesting process you have figurin' things out there kev.
But you are right about 1 thing cops are getting a lot of cash these days.
It's unfortunate that 100 cops are sent to do a job that could be done by
10 cops from my era, and they wouldn't need riot gear either.

John retired IA PD @ 4/5/2016 10:38 PM

There will be more and more LEO's retiring and fewer and fewer candidates will be lining up to be an officer. Does this tell you anything? Perhaps some of those protesters and those always criticizing the police should be taking the exam and become officers. There are lots of openings nowadays.

DD16 @ 4/6/2016 4:22 AM

Percy, GO ON A RIDE ALONG! Only then, you may be a little qualified to post anything about Law Enforcement.

Robert @ 4/6/2016 8:48 AM

Well, from the taxpayers standpoint Overtime, especially when used for seasonal or temporary disturbances, is favorable to hiring more police. The PBA doesn't like it, but it is a better solution (benefits, pensions, etc are basically a fixed cost).

I would agree there are fewer candidates for LEO jobs...but for different reasons:
1. LEO is a 'blue collar' worker...and fewer people want those types of jobs in the country. Everyone wants to be the next Bill Gates.
2. A larger % of people have criminal records today. As an example, I have no criminal record; but I was caught by the local PD (when a juvenile) with the following: Beer on multiple occasions (parties, boat on lake, etc), BB gun fight in woods, girl on school property.
Today, I would be expelled and have a criminal record (MIP, Criminal Trespass)(assuming I was not shot like Tamir); and would not be eligible.
Basically we are criminalizing our youth because of foolish Zero Tolerance and Broken Windows polices.

OK then @ 4/6/2016 9:00 AM

You can't compare policing today to policing 20-40 years ago w/o taking all of the other variables into account.

RG @ 4/6/2016 9:05 AM

Police have to pass a polygraph exam that has nothing to do with your criminal record. Its all about your lifetime criminal activities. We police Chiefs know that no one is perfect and very few people have actually gone most of their life without committing some offence. We have to weed through the best candidates and select the best we can. Then they actually have to want to work for a mediocre wage, and lastly they have to be able to perform the job and get through an academy, field training. Then once they start to work all eyes are on you video recording, instigating, just hoping you screw up. Percy, our Canadian friend may be right. I think we might all be nuts.

Robert @ 4/6/2016 10:59 AM

OK then...I disagree.
IF Tamir Rice had not been shot...I expect the following would have been the outcome:
1. Arrested and placed in the juvenile system (hopefully charged as a juvenile..some DAs might have went for a Brandishing or Aggravated Assault Charge).
2. Expelled from school, and assuming he does not sit in custody, placed in a school for 'troubled youth'. How many students graduate from that environment / go on to college?

Here are the differences between me, and Tamir Rice:
1. I lived in the suburbs and me and my 2 friends were in a "woods" of about 5-6 acres.
2. I am white, the LEO was friends were white.
3. We had BB gun rifles, not pistols. We were shooting at each other!
4. I assume someone called the police directly.
5. Year 1980s.

Our BB Guns were taken, we were driven home...and our parents were told where to pickup the BB guns.

--no charges (no lawyers), school not notified..I graduated top 10% / college scholarship

Leonard @ 4/6/2016 7:32 PM

Policing is significantly different today from our years growing up as is our criminal justice system. We have criminalized so many actions that anyone of us can unknowingly commit a jail-able offense every single day. Secondarily, numbers driven policing essentially forces officers to arrest. In order to meet their goals (quotas) officers target the most vulnerable in their communities. @kevcopaz will state that BLM is responsible for the protests that happened in Chicago. He conveniently forgot that an officer unjustifiably put 16 rounds into a man. That's what caused the protests.

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