Emanuel Confirms He Wants to Hire More Cops, Plans Speech Later This Month

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Will ask the City Council to hire hundreds of police officers in next year's budget.

The announcement comes on the heels of the deadliest month in the city in 20 years.

Emanuel said the city's finances are on the upswing, so he hopes to hire hundreds of new cops.

"We'll be able to do things that before we were hamstrung," he said.

Just 15 months ago, Emanuel said his then mayoral opponent Chuy Garcia's plan to hire more police was not financially viable.

"Chicago's in a free fall on his watch," Garcia said in March of 2015.

Emanuel didn't put an exact number on how many police he wants hired. Each individual officer costs the city about $100,000 in salary and benefits.

"We will find the resources in this budget, not just for that," Emanuel said.

Chicago has 44 officers per 10,000 people compared to New York City, which has 42 officers and Washington DC, which has 62 officers.

The city is barely keeping up with police retirements. Currently there are more than 300 vacancies.

"We can say lets hire more police and everybody's on board, but it's not as easy as that," said Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, 10th.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger says he supports hiring new officers noting that some aspiring officers who had wanted the job before are now declining the position.

"I beg the good officers in now, and the good young men and women thinking about it, we need you now more than ever," he said.

If the City Council approves hiring more officers, it takes about year to put them on the streets.

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