Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday promised to hire more police officers and announced plans to begin a pilot program where some officers will wear body cameras as he detailed his plans to fight crime.
It was the third policy address for the mayor’s re-election campaign and it took place at a neighborhood center on the city’s South Side.
“If our children are growing up and too many of our kids are growing up with a sense where violence becomes a norm and a familiarity rather than a sense of optimism that is experiencing by all the other statistics, we have not done our job,” Emanuel said.
Emanuel promised to bring safety to every neighborhood, revealing plans to hire 350 new Chicago police officers this year and begin a pilot program using body cameras this week in the 14th District. He said he hopes to work to expand the program over the next few years throughout the department.
Among those in attendance at the speech, a small crowd compared to previous addresses from the mayor, were Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Father Michael Pfleger and roughly 20 neighborhood leaders or public safety advocates.
The mayor’s opponents remain divided over whether McCarthy should keep his job.
“The Emanuel McCarthy leadership and crime in our city has just, it’s just a complete failure,” said mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti.
“In all fairness, when elected I hope to meet with Superintendent McCarthy to talk about what his vision and his philosophy of policing is,” said challenger Jesus Chuy Garcia.
There was no mention made of police overtime, but this year the major projected spending close to $100 million. Emanuel took no questions after his event, instead letting his speech be the final word.
“No child should not be allowed to walk to school because of fear,” he said.