It appears police officers from the North Side of Chicago may be reassigned to the South and West sides under a plan to reallocate resources to the highest crime areas, according to data obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis is expected to reveal a plan by the end of the year that would take officers from relatively low crime areas on the North Side and move them to higher crime areas, based on the volume of 911 calls and Radio Assignment Pending calls (RAP).
That's got some North Side alderman, like Joe Moore (49th) a bit concerned.
"If the South and West sides need additional officers, that should not come at the expense of the communities on the North Side which also need those officers as well," he said.
Although Weis has not said which districts would lose or gain officers, the Sun-Times obtained a district-by-district comparison that measures calls for service.
The data shows that the district with the lowest volume of 911 and "RAP" Calls are reported on the North and Northwest side. This includes districts such as Foster, Town Hall, Albany Park, Jefferson Park, Monroe and Wood.
The report also revealed the Chicago Lawn district on the Southwest side had the most 911 and "RAP" calls. Other districts with a large amount of service calls include South Chicago, Englewood, Harrison and Grand-Central.
The Sun-Times reports that the city has not reallocated officers since the late 1970s, but Weis said it's time for a new plan to help balance the workload of officers, without redrawing police beats.
For Moore, the answer is more simple:
"We need to hire more officers," he said Monday.
Ald. Fredrenna Lyle, whose 6th Ward makes up part of the South Side, said she's been fighting for years to get more officers in the police districts that sit in her ward.
"If you have an area with higher crime patterns, you need to put some attention on those areas," she said. "Where the crime patterns are low, where they have the police officers that may not be as vital to the performance of their duties, then those officers should be assigned to one of the more active districts."