Hillard said he's acting under the direction of Mayor Richard Daley in moving as many as 400 officers back to beats to get ahead of an expected uptick in violence as the weather improves.
"In anticipation of warmer weather and spring breaks we've started programs that will keep our city safe," Hillard said.
While Hillard said he was working under orders from Daley, the plan sounds like a line directly from the Rahm Emanuel campaign. Emanuel talked at length about the merits of beat officers.
Emanuel Friday said he was supportive of the plan.
"In the campaign you've heard me talk about the beat officer as the backbone of the police department," Emanuel said. "I applaud the decision to move people from specialized divisions."
The changes will take effect immediately.