CHICAGO, IL – The City of Chicago is attempting to double their efforts to recruit new police officers in response to the rising violent crime that is plaguing the city.
Their hopes are to increase the police force and community engagement to end the violent spike.
The Chicago Police Department is using a verse from the Book of Isaiah from the Old Testament of the Bible to recruit new Chicago Police officers, who are sworn to serve all Chicagoans, regardless of their race or religion. https://t.co/8xtOrKdD3C
— Heather Cherone (@HeatherCherone) October 5, 2021
Violence in the city has almost taken over everyday life and has left citizens and tourists alike in fear for their safety.
Residents have started an outcry over the last few months to city leadership over the spike in violence, demanding a plan to reduce the crime and save lives.
On January 4th, Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown spoke about the public safety efforts the city will be undertaking to lessen the violence in the area.
Most of the discussion seemingly laid out a strategy in which they aim to have more visibility as well as community engagement and collaboration.
The plan is to triple positive interactions between the Chicago Police Department and the community. Additionally, the city claims they plan to fund affordable housing, mental healthcare, and drug treatment services by $1.5 million in hopes to stop the cycle of violence.
WGN News reports that the Chicago Police Department is working to increase the number of detectives who will hopefully be able to increase the city’s clearance rate when it comes to crime.
Currently, the agency has roughly 1,200 detectives, but they are currently training two different groups, both at 100 officers, who will hit the investigations division sometime between January and March.
Chicago Police Department makes new push to recruit more police officers https://t.co/0RYvBzCbN3
— Terrence Lee (@TLeeOnTV) October 21, 2021
The Department will also increase the law enforcement presence in the areas with the most reported crime. According to WGN, Chicago’s downtown and the South Side are some of the areas that will see an increase in personnel.
Brown acknowledged the fact that the department is in the works of doubling not only the detective bureau, but police staffing in general. Brown is hoping to receive 14,000 applications by the end of 2022.
Brown reported that the Chicago Police Department has a dedicated recruiting team which was able to obtain over 7 thousand applications throughout the last half of 2021.
The increase may be because the recruiting team has taken steps to make it easier for applicants to proceed through initial stages of the hiring process.
While the number of applicants for the police department sounds great, that does not mean that all those people are qualified to be a police officer. It also does not mean that even if those people are qualified that they will make it through the hiring process or training.
It should also be noted that these new recruits are coming in not only to increase staffing in the police department, but to replace the hundreds of officers who left during 2021.
These proposals and aspirations of both Brown and Lightfoot come after they had quietly removed 400 sworn police officers from the department. According to Forbes, sworn police officer positions dropped from 12,284 to 11,898 in 2020, and with the lower number of officers on the street, violent crime increased.
The Medical Examiner’ Office in Cook County reported a total number of 836 homicides in Chicago, the most since 1996. 836 people are just those that died because of homicide – it does not include people that have been shot or in some other way a victim of a violent act.
While there is no way to definitively prove that the lower number of police officers equate to rises in crime, it certainly appears that way on paper. Maybe that is why Lightfoot is now pushing for more police officers on the streets instead of less.
The hiring freeze will stop a Chicago Police Department conveyor belt of recruit classes that have been churned out at the police academy since September 2016. The August class of recruits will be the last for the time being. https://t.co/PxrewaR7FO
— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) August 23, 2019
The milestone was reached by Andre Burnett after he was arrested at Saks Fifth Avenue on the Magnificent Mile for allegedly stealing a jacket which was worth $1,250.
Police allege that Burnett had walked into the store, removed the jacket from a display, put it on and simply walked out of the store.
Prosecutors noted that Burnett was found with what they called a ‘booster bag’ upon his arrest. A booster bag is one that has aluminum foil inside of it which is supposed to thwart any type of retail theft alarms.
Boosting is a common term used by criminals which refers to stealing items.
Cook County prosecutors charged Burnett with felony retail theft and noted this is not the first time, by far, that he has stolen items from a store.
In addition to these new criminal charges, prosecutors informed the judge that out of Burnett’s 12 felony convictions, mot of those were for retail theft.
Burnett was assigned a public defender, Courtney Smallwood, in the case who argued that he has ties to the community and gainful employment, therefore he should be released pending his court date without a monetary bond.
While the judge, Mary Marubio, listened to the argument, she ruled that there would be a monetary bond assigned because he was a “nuisance” to the criminal justice system.
“You’re a nuisance to the system, Mr. Burnett. And a drain on the system…There’s not going to be an I-Bond here [non-monetary release].”
Marubio then set the monetary bond for Burnett’s release at $1,500 based upon the value of the item he allegedly stole. If Burnett wants to be released earlier than his next court date, January 10th, he will have to post a minimum of 10 percent of $1,500 and provide something worth that amount to a bondsman.
The ten percent, $150, should be fairly easy for him to reach considering he earns $30 a day for every day that he is in custody.
Marubio’s decision to assign a bond in this case is something that is surprising, considering the number of alleged felons that are being released from the Cook County criminal justice system on a daily basis. Fox News reported one example of an alleged felon who was released while pending trial.
In this case, Malik Perteet, was out on a $7,500 bond after being arrested for a felony gun possession case stemming from a shooting in March of 2021.
In that case, and 11-year-old girl died from a shot fired by a person Perteet was with during an altercation.
Perteet was court ordered to wear a GPS monitoring device upon his release, something that did not seem to deter further criminal behavior as he was arrested again two months later for manufacture-delivery of narcotics which was a violation of his bond.
However, instead of being remanded into custody, Fox News states that he was released from custody without having to post any additional bail.
Then, in December of 2021, Perteet was allegedly conducting a drug deal in which he fired a shot which struck a 17-year-old girl.
Thankfully, the girl survived the shooting and Perteet was taken into custody for the third time in just a few months, this time held without bond.
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