Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel: Police, Fire Must Live in the City

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After going through a residency fight of his own, Emanuel won't listen.

Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel may have massaged the rules a bit when it came to his own eligibility to run for the city's highest office, but when it comes to altering the current residency requirement for police and fire personnel, he's steadfast.

"While I understand it's their desire, for the city they are more than police and fire.  They are anchors in the neighborhood... That's an investment I'm not ready to turn my back on," he said Tuesday.

In a Fraternal Order of Police questionnaire Emanuel completed during the campaign, he made mention of being open to changing the requirement.  He said Tuesday that he's since heard what police and fire officials have to say, and while he respects their position, he's not about to change the 92-year-old rule.

"My perspective how important the individual members and then the group as a total play into the city's neighborhoods and anchoring them and the middle class and that family and that neighborhood, and keeping them -- making sure that anchor exists," said Emanuel during a stop at Google's regional headquarters at 20 W. Kinzie St.

His firm position didn't come as a surprise to Mark Donahue, the outgoing president of the FOP, which endorsed Gery Chico in the race for mayor.

"It’s a position that his predecessor has had for years. That position is not shared by many [FOP] members. All we’re looking for is an opportunity for discussion at the table. It’s not something that's negotiable at this point,"  said Donahue, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Emanuel, of course, was dogged by questions of his own residency during the campaign.  Lawsuits were filed and many people contended that Emanuel wasn't eligible to run for mayor.  It was argued that Emanuel gave up his local residency when he leased out his Chicago home and moved his family to Washington, D.C. while he served as President Obama's chief of staff. 

The Illinois Supreme Court put the question to rest at the end of January.

Related Topics Rahm Emanuel
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