Chicago's new police superintendent apologized to aldermen for not warning them about an order that that took dozens of officers from their districts and moved them to curb gun crime and enforce Illinois' stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A day after David Brown was sworn in, he had a conference call Thursday with several aldermen whose wards on the North Side were impacted, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“He came out and apologized immediately and said, ‘I’m sorry that I blindsided you guys with this,” said Anthony Napolitano, alderman for the 41st ward. “He apologized that he had no warning for us.”
On Wednesday, officers in police districts on the North and Northwest sides of town were sent to the Harrison District on the West Side, which is one of the most violent parts of the city. As of April 15, the district had recorded 21 murders and 58 nonfatal shootings.
The Gresham, Englewood and Deering districts on the South Side also received more officers, the police department noted.
A department spokeswoman said Brown “will take what (the aldermen) said under consideration, but the department is continuing the operation with the goal of saving lives.”
“The surge strategy is designed to be unpredictable and will be conducted at all hours of the day and in all parts of the city. This strategy does not inhibit the department’s ability to respond to calls for service in all 22 districts citywide," according to the statement.
There have been about 1,450 group dispersals in the Harrison District and nearly 3,750 in the city between March 25 and April 21.
Napolitano, a former police officer, said his residents are furious over the deployment order.
“We shouldn’t be punished up here because we’re not stepping over dead bodies.”