Ward Room
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FOP Decries Police District Closure Plan

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Oct. 11, 2011: If Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets his way and closes three police districts, the people who live in those communities will be short-changed, Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields said Tuesday night.

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If Mayor Rahm Emanuel gets his way and closes three police districts, the people who live in those communities will be short-changed, Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields said Tuesday night.

Under the mayor's budget proposal, first reported Tuesday afternoon by the Chicago Sun-Times, three of the oldest stations -- Belmont, Wood and Prairie -- would be closed and its personnel consolidated into adjacent buildings.

"There's going to be longer response time on 911 calls. There's going to be less police officers in those neighborhoods, and it's going to happen over time," said Shields.

Some neighbors who live in the affected 13th District also challenge the plan.

"It's an absolutely terrible idea," said one resident.

Emanuel insists the move would make for a "more agile bureaucratic structure," and would mean less overlapping.

The mayor has supporters among some residents.

"As long as they're going to shift resources to areas that really, really need it, you know, high-crime neighborhoods, [that would be OK]," said one resident.

But the FOP isn't buying that argument.

"[The residents are] paying the tax dollars but they're not getting the service," said Shields.

The plan, which doesn't include new property taxes but hikes on other fees, will be formally unveiled during Wednesday's meeting of the City Council.
 

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