Chicago Police

CPD Supt. asks for budget increase as department faces more retirements

Proposed 2024 budget contains modest increases and planned new efficiencies

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The Chicago Police Department is seeking a budget increase from the nearly $2 billion allotted for 2024, citing challenges with combating carjacking and the city's migrant crisis, with Supt. Larry Snelling appearing before a City Council committee on Tuesday.

However, some members of City Council believe the department's biggest challenge lies with the high number of retirements CPD is facing.

As of last Friday, a staff member of Supt. Snelling said that there were currently 8,456 sworn officers with CPD, with nearly 900 more eligible for retirement in 2024.

29th Ward Ald. Chris Taliaferro cast doubt on the numbers provided by CPD, citing that department is budgeted for 13,500 officers.

"I believe our department has more than 8,500 officers, but we are understaffed by at least 2,000. I would like to see that number get back up," Taliaferro said.

According to Snelling, the department is hoping to train and hire as many as 1,000 new officers next year, while also planning to reorganize the department to get more officers in cars and on the streets by hiring more civilians and retired cops.

“It will be helpful to us as a department to replace some of these positions with non-sworn and retired police officers to come back and do some of the work that we have sworn members doing right now,” Snelling said.

28th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin agreed, saying it's not necessary to send a sworn officer out to take pictures at a crime scene when a well-trained civilian could do the same.

City Council members also questioned Snelling on when he expected migrants would be able to leave district police stations. Snelling admitted that the migrants pose challenges but must be treated with kindness and respect.

Ald. Brendan Reilly raised concerns about migrant crime in his 42nd Ward and the proximity of one of the city’s largest migrant shelters to Michigan Avenue and tourists on the Mag Mile. The Superintendent said migrants who commit crimes have been and will be arrested.

Reilly also advocated for the department to add another police helicopter, saying that it would help CPD crack down on car thefts and carjackings. Snelling said another helicopter is likely to arrive late next year.

Council members also expressed their disappointment over published reports that some current officers may have links to hate groups like the Oath Keepers, something the superintendent says he has no tolerance for.

“The Chicago Police Department will be stringent in background investigations,” Snelling said. “We will make sure that we do not have members of hate groups amongst our Chicago Police Department,” he said.

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