Mayor Richard Daley on Monday said he thinks the shaky economy will likely prevent the mass exodus of police officers that Supt. Jody Weis said last week made him "extremely nervous."
"Usually when people retire, they'll be able to get a second job. That's very, very difficult today. Very difficult. There's no jobs out there," Daley said Monday afternoon, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Weis told Chicago aldermen at a City Council budget hearing last Friday that he feared the police ranks could dip to unsafe levels if an arbitrator, working on the contract between the police union and the city, allows officers to take a pay out at age 55 and leave the force.
About 1,000 officers are eligible for the buyout, but many may be waiting until the contract is settled in hopes they'll get a raise, which, in turn would mean more pay in retirement.
Even before the arbitrator’s ruling, the department has 600 sworn vacancies and is 2,000 officers short of authorized strength counting those on medical leave and limited desk duty each day, the Chicago Sun-Times' Fran Spielman explained.