Burke's Fine with Security Switch - NBC Chicago
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Burke's Fine with Security Switch



    Alderman Burke's Fine With Fewer Guards

    The alderman says he's confident in Garry McCarthy and the Mayor. (Published Monday, July 11, 2011)

    Alderman Ed Burke, the powerful city council finance committee chairman, doesn't seem too concerned with news that his police detail would be trimmed and revamped.

    "If it's a slow news day, I guess, this is what you do," Burke said referring to the media interest in his 4-member police detail.

    After months of speculation -- and attention during the Chicago Mayor's Campaign --  news broke Friday that Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy would reduce the number of police officers protecting city officials, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Treasurer Stephanie Neely and Burke. Burke's detail could comprise retired police officers, going forward. That's an idea he thinks has merit.

    "I have the greatest confidence in Garry McCarthy and he'll do what he thinks is appropriate," Burke said.

    McCarthy said the cuts will save the city $650,000. In addition to the trimmed details for the city officials, security details for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and the Chicago Housing Authority CEO, a position previously held by Lewis Jordan, have been eliminated, he said.

    Burke has had a security detail since receiving threats during the Council Wars of the mid-1980s, when he challenged the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington.

    Even recently, Burke insisted he needed the detail after a man, Timothy Hercog, left him a threatening message.

    "It just points out that there are some very troubled people in our society," Burke said back in February.