Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

McCarthy Considering Police District Closures?

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"We're in a position in this city, as is virtually every city across the country, where we have to be more fiscally responsible than we have ever been in the past," Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

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Some district police stations may be on Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy's list of cuts.

Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked McCarthy to trim $190 million from his department's $1.3 billion annual budget in the face of a Chicago deficit. McCarthy said he already has eliminated two positions and readjusted the "upper echelon" of the department. He's also ready to undertake a second level of department review.

The cutting of certain district stations could save money and free up more officers for "street beats" to which Emanuel and McCarthy recently moved 114 officers. But for now, McCarthy isn't talking specifics.

"We're in a position in this city, as is virtually every city across the country, where we have to be more fiscally responsible than we have ever been in the past," McCarthy said last week as the latest batch of officers was deployed. "We're looking at ways to save every cent that we can in this agency and at the same time provide the best service."

When asked Monday during an unrelated press conference, Emanuel skipped directly commenting on the rumor.

"It's all about the beat officer," Emanuel said, adding, "bureaucracy needs to be changed."

Aldermen Scott Waguespack (32). Ameya Pawar (47) and George Cardenas (12) agreed they support closing districts if it means more cops on the streets. 

Details of the cuts may not be known until October, though, when Emanuel presents the city budget.

The city faces a budget deficit of more than $635 million.

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