Chicago had its deadliest January since 2002 with a recorded 42 homicides as of Tuesday (Jan. 30). In response to the high numbers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy are reassigning 200 desk officers to the streets of Chicago, an announcement they made Wednesday.
The recent fatal shooting of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who marched in President Obama’s inaugural parade, urged the city to respond to the growing homicide rate. Desk officers will be sent to areas with high incidents of gang violence and gun crimes. Their previous posts will be filled by civilians, CBS 2 Chicago reports:
The mayor cited two reports from the city’s Inspector General’s office, identifying 428 officers doing jobs civilians could do just as well, and at a lower cost. Among them: 136 crime scene technicians, 35 IT specialists, 23 human resource workers, and 13 media affairs aides.
“We should have clerks doing clerical work. We don’t train people to be police officers, and have them doing clerical work,” McCarthy said.
CPD will immediately move 60 officers, with 30 officers going to Area Central and 15 officers reassigned to both Area North and Area South. The officers will join so-called area saturation teams, which flood a neighborhood after violent crime.
Officers will begin transferring to their assigned districts this month and all 200 will be moved into patrol positions by March 31.
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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)