Mayor Daley said Thursday he supports the idea of pulling officers from the community policing program and focusing them more on crime-fighting.
Word of some changes proposed to CAPS came hours after a big police protest against police Supt. Jody Weis, fueled by cops' anger regarding the gap in manpower on the street, among other grievances.
Daley said the timing of the protest and the proposed CAPS changes was merely coincidence.
"They've been working on it," he said at a neighborhood stabilization event about an apartment rehabilitation project. "I think over 200 police officers or more were assigned to CAPS over years lieutenants and sergeants and patrolmen and so all of a sudden it became a civilian thing and it went to a police department. That was not the concept."
The looming changes, according to a letter sent to district committee chairmen by CAPS Director Ron Holt and obtained Wednesday, are intended to increase efficiency. Some of the changes were to be in place by the end of the month, sources told NBCChicago, but Holt said Thursday that all changes were being put on hold.
"After hearing some concerns about how these changes might impact implementation of CAPS at the district level, [I] decided to take some additional time to make sure we identify and address community concerns before moving forward with changes in CAPS district personnel," said Holt.
Fraternal Order of Police President Mark Donahue said the reassigned officers are needed, but said he would like to see more officers hired rather than just a realignment of the current force.