Chicago Alderman Proposes New Fee to Hire More Cops

Homes and businesses would pay as much as $5 per month

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    NBCChicago.com

    Would you be willing to pay more for a safer city?

    Ald. George Cardenas (12th) is floating an idea to ask city homeowners and businesses to pay as much as $5 per month to hire more police officers, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Cardenas, chairman of the City Council's Health Committee, said the "safety and security" fee could be added to a monthly electric bill. It would generate as much $70 million in revenue --  enough to pay for an additional 700 police officers.

    Cardenas said he thinks people would be willing to accept the new fee. 

    He told the newspaper he wants his kids to feel safe when they go outside to play. "You can't put a price on that," he said.

    Police Supt. Garry McCarthy recently told NBC Chicago he has enough officers to fight gangs and city violence.

    "I can walk through the door with Mayor Emanuel and find 600 officers that are behind desk duty that we need to get out on the street," McCarthy said. "It's not necessarily [how] many you have, it's what they do and where they are."

    The Fraternal Order of Police long has said the police department needs to hire more officers and has called redeploying them from desk duty "smoke and mirrors."