Monday, September 22, 2014

HYPE MACHINE: Despite Assurances, Chicago Has Fewer Cops Under Rahm; 19 of 22 Districts Lose Officers

Map showing gains and losses in each of Chicago's police districts,
October 2011 vs. July 2014. (See a zoomable version HERE)
"How many murders you got?"

That was Mayor Rahm Emanuel's flip response when a Lakeview resident asked him about the 22% cut in police manpower in our 19th district.

We'll come back to that in a minute.

No doubt, you've heard City Hall, certain aldermen, and the police department itself issue endless statements about Chicago having “more police on the beat” than when Rahm Emanuel took office in 2011.

Well, that's not true and the police department’s own documents prove it.

The Numbers

This table from police documents reviewed by CWB shows the
total number of officers in the department as of October 2011,
March 2014, and July 2014. The "2011" in row 3 is a typo.
According to CWB analysis of Chicago Police Department documents secured via a reader's Freedom Of Information Act filing, Chicago had 491 fewer officers in July of this year than it had in October 2011. Translation: there are 4% fewer cops overall than in 2011.

And the number of officers assigned to districts—the number of cops “on the beat”—has fallen by 674, a loss of nearly 9%. More cops on the beat? Hardly.

How Many Murders They Got?

The department's manpower documents show that districts across the city have lost cops and only three have seen their manpower increase. (While white on our map above denotes manpower changes of ±3%, the fact is not one of the white areas is "+.")

Only one district comes close to the 22% loss in protection seen in our 19th district. And while the mayor would like you to believe that good neighborhoods are losing cops so areas that "got" murders can be protected, the numbers tell a different tale.

The South Side’s Gresham District has lost 11% of its cops since 2011.  As of mid-September, they "got" 18 murders this year.

The West Side’s infamous Austin District has lost 12% of its cops. As of mid-September, they "got" 20 murders.

Englewood? They "got" 34 murders as of mid-September. And 7% fewer cops.

We citizens have been grossly misled. There are far fewer cops on the beat, not more. The cops aren't being moved from good areas to bad ones. They're being taken away from just about everywhere, disappearing quietly as retirees and transfers are not replaced.

Residents are seeing delayed police responses to serious “in progress” incidents because the officers we do have are stretched dangerously thin—dangerous for the public and for the cops.

When you hear stories about slow police response times, don’t blame the cops. Blame the politicians who’ve been selling snake oil while letting our officers slip away.

Oh, and to answer the mayor's dismissive question. We "got" 4 murders so far this year. A 300% increase over this time last year. And we "got" 3 months to go.

  • Want to review the CPD documents? Check them out here.
  • A full-size version of the map is here.

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  1. Wow! What an indictment of Rahm and his policies related to policing thousand city and protecting the residents of Chicago.

    It's no wonder that Illinois State Police fugitive apprehension teams have been extended in Chicago as more federal agents are assigned to the city to combat our extensive gang problem -- a problem that now controls our schools, our Parks, and entire neighborhoods.

    Only Ald. Scott Waguespack appears to understand this.

    Kudos to CWB for taking the time and making the effort to publicly expose this utter failure of public policy.

    1. Yet, the citizens of Chicago, will disregard all this valuable information and make a dumb decision to re-elect Rahm to another 4 year term.

      All because Rahm is about as smooth as a used car salesman on Western ave.

    2. Regardless of Rahm's "smooth"ness, the fact that the local media refuse to report any of this crime is a HUGE part of the sheeple re-electing mayors, alderpeople, and others who don't deserve it. Get the information out there and informed people will vote in their best interest. Deny them information... *cough cough* and you'll get the incumbent regime reelected. Duh.

      As an aside, please check out He's a fantastic candidate for Alderman and an impressive improvement from our current one. Please consider giving him your vote in February. (And if you're not registered, please do so!)

  2. October 2011, when the merger of the 19th and 23rd Police Districts was announced, combined, the 19th and 23rd had 468 police officers. By March 2014, it was down to 340, a 27.4% reduction!

    October 2011 there were 12,492 police officers in Chicago. As of March 2014, it fell to 12,094, a loss of 398, down 3.1%.

    Of the 398 lost, 128 of them came from one police district, the 19th, spanning the heavily populated area bounded by Fullerton on the south, Wilson on the north, Lake Michigan on the east, and the Chicago River on the west.

    Whereas Chicago lost 3.1%, the 19th lost 27.4%. The loss city-wide doesn’t begin to explain or justify our loss in the 19th.

    Will the residents of Lakeview, Uptown, and northern Lincoln Park hold Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Aldermen Tunney, Cappleman, and Michele Smith accountable for systematically reducing police protection, staffing, and response times in our community?

    1. Cappleman told me personally, that we don't need more police officers. He said the job is getting done with what we have. Of course, he also said that he was a social worker, and not qualified to tell McCarthy how to allocate his manpower. That says it all.

    2. Lawrence Ave. is the North End border of 019 District and NOT Wilson ave., up another couple blocks of stats for sure!

  3. Excellent article. Now, why doesn't the mainstream media pick this up and run with it? Why don't candidates running against incumbents use this information as their platform? Thanks to CWB, their work has been done for them!

    The decimation of our police force, and especially in the 19th district, is depressing to say the least. I am pissed, shocked, mad as hell. What can we do? I know the answer, "vote out Rahm, Tunney, Cappleman, Smith...." And I plan to vote against these assholes who don't care about our safety. However, I'm afraid that the lemmings who are unaware of the mayhem that is going on will still vote them in.

    How can so many people be unaware of what's going on here? Seems all they listen to is the news on TV, which rarely mentions how dangerous our area has become. They believe the sound-bites from Rahm & McStupid.

    On that note, I think last year Forbes Magazine listed East Lakeview as one of the best urban neighborhoods in the country. I doubt they ever roamed the streets or rode the Red Line at night. Seems the spin continues...

  4. I think it would help the community if the area bars would close at 2AM. Much of this crime can be considered alcohol related and I have seen many young men over served from the area bars.

  5. When will Rahm and McCarthy acknowledge there are other crimes that aren't murder? They are simply trying to cover their asses for the national media by only acknowledging murder most of the time.

    1. Yeah, somehow I think he'd consider it serious if his wife was bashed in the head, robbed of her wedding ring and sent to Illinois Masonic. Just saying.

    2. That's true but it's hard to rob Rahm's wife since she gets a police guard 24/7... Must be nice...

    3. I have been thinking the same thing for a long time. Maybe when "an important person" gets their head bashed in, maybe...just maybe, the powers that be might finally wake up from their coma and beef up the police numbers to a safe level. Here's to dreaming, anyway....

    4. Because those other crimes can be covered up on paper stats. 30-some years ago Pam Zekman did a series called "Killing Crime on Paper". It showed how crimes in Chicago were constantly being downgraded or UNFOUNDED in order to make good stats. Your Burglary became a Theft, your Theft became a Non-Criminal Lost Property Case. As a new CPD Detective at the time I thought it was great, we were not expected to lie to make stats go down. It is all beng done again. Some crime reports are BS, but many other are being skewed so Rahm and his Hatchetman McCarthy can boast "Crime is down." There is the other great lie.

      BTW, even some murders are covered up as Non-Criminal Death Investigations.

  6. Over-serving customers by bar-staff is a separate issue that may be addressed through better management.
    The only thing that is alcohol related are some of the victims who either patronize or work in the bars. Either way, the crime would most likely still continue targeting the same victim population as the predators would still be preying on the few between midnight and 3 a.m.
    Another point is why infringe on those who do go out late. Why not instead crack down on the predators?
    CWB readers understand that people become victimized while walking in the neighborhood in the daytime, mornings, afternoons, evenings, and nighttime.
    The problem isn't the businesses or the victims. It's the predators.

  7. i know this is a stupid question, but i think i need it spelled out for me. is this all just a matter of pinching pennies? or is there some other reason i'm not aware of that the cop population is dwindling? seems to me that there is enough $$, and i'm not sure how more cops is not on the top of the priority list. honestly. i'm looking for some real insight here, too, not just anonymous angry comments about how the money is going to bike lanes.

    1. More cops='s less Maggie Daley (Carmella Soprano) park. It's that simple.

    2. "seems to me that there is enough $$"

      You're kidding right? The city is tens of billions in debt/unfunded pensions and the state is $200-$300 billion in debt/unfunded pensions. There are not enough of operating expenses to cut and we are already one of the highest taxed cities in the country (all taxes, property, sales, income, fees). Pension reform is what is needed and the politicians will just kick that can down the road. They figure they will be out of office by the time the riots start.

  8. It's interesting to me that the only 'real' stat the Mayor and McCarthy seem to care about is the amount of murders. Not the number of shootings. Not the number of violent crimes.

    And you'd think that *now* is the time to hire CPD - with the economy sucking, it's a buyer's market for top talent.

  9. This happened because the people that live in the 019 district are least likely to protest. Just like the predators that come here to rob, Rahm and the rest of them have robbed the tax-paying citizens of their police protection. Do you think the citizens of Englewood and Austin would stay quiet if they lost 27.4% of their cops? They would be loud as hell.

    1. Interesting observation. And it would seem that all of us in 019 have so much more to lose. Maybe people just pick up and leave when they get sick of the crime?

      I would like to stay....but we need to organize. I'll march. And I'll donate $$$ to crowd fund bill boards that SPEAK THE TRUTH and warn people about all the crime in the area.

  10. "According to CWB analysis of Chicago Police Department documents...secured via a reader's Freedom Of Information Act filing..., Chicago had 491 fewer officers in July of this year than it had in October 2011."

    Thank you so much to the reader's FOIA filing and excellent, detailed work! We've got some really sharp and dedicated people running this blog and reading it. Surely, we must be able to come up with something very specific to get more people aware. I still like the idea of a crowd-funded billboard.

  11. I am still amazed that the "journalists" at the Trib and Sun Times continue to spout the official City Hall "crime is down" mantra. It is a sad commentary on the state of media in Chicago when people have to rely on blogs and community newspapers to get an accurate portrayal of the crime problem in Chicago. Thank you CWB. Crime will continue to drop as long as there are no officers available to take reports and when they are available to show up, the crimes are downgraded to lesser offenses.

    1. Thank you, anonymous. Old school journalism is under siege and newspapers have been the slowest to evolve. We could tell you some amazing stories about tips we've given to newspaper reporters that got shot down by their crusty editors, only to take off via online news outlets and TV.

  12. Remember all the lies at election time! Rahm said don't worry, when we merge 19th/23rd district you won't loose any protection? Well almost 3 years later, we can clearly see that Rahm lies, Numbers Don't.
    He doesn't care about you, he has 24 hour police protection, hell they even throw his trash out. Remember that when your walking home from work and you see these creeps just waiting around for another victim to pounce on. It was never this bad before the great Merger or should I say Failure!

  13. "How many murders you got?"

    As infuriating as it is to see once nice areas being taken over by criminals, such a flippant response by Emanuel incenses me even more. CWB, was there a story posted about that exchange? As an avid reader of the blog, I spread the word about it as much as I can so as always thank you for the outstanding work!

  14. Great work CWB! PLEASE keep exposing the lies. And count me in for at minimum $100. It's well worth that.
    This is just so 'Chicago'....key officials flat out lie to the citizens. Lie and walk away.
    And while we're at it -- there's just no WAY to believe the 18th is down 3%-10% (see the map). There is NO way. They're using the old 'reassignment' trick to hide all of the manpower there now.
    Been down Michigan Ave recently, north of the river? Literally 6-8 officers at each intersection. Plus more in the medians south of Erie.
    I used to live there. And five years ago the only place you'd ever see a cop in north Streeterville was in the Starbucks near Barney's.
    We are getting hosed here. Big time.
    And sadly, really really sadly the cops ARE part of the problem.
    There are a reasonable number of good ones. Absolutely. But the number of over-protected, flat out ineffective union hacks is an embarrassment. Let's tell the truth there too.
    Watch the (mainly) guys on Michigan Ave some time for a lesson in 'how to do a minimum amount of patrolling / police work, with a maximum amount of manpower'. What a damn shame.

    1. I'd like to reply to your comment, with absolutely no malice, but with just an attempt to educate. The downtown, 18th District, is down in manpower just like the rest of the department. The police you see downtown, in general, are working their days off and are not assigned to the 18th district. They come from all over the city. Some work the worst areas, and honestly, if they get to stand around downtown being a presence after working the south and west sides of the city, on their day off, let them have it. They should be home, relaxing. They choose to work their day off, and yes, not for all the right reasons. The cops get paid for the day obviously. Do they want to be the super police on their day off? I highly doubt it.

      The "number of over-protected flat out ineffective union hacks is an embarrassment". Statements like that are hard to swallow. Cops are so quickly judged now. They are all human, you know. Those guys you see have done some incredibly heroic things that you will never hear about.

    2. Well what can you reasonably expect when according to your own
      observation, the area was saturated with Police? You can't have it
      both ways. If the Police were "being productive" someone would be
      yelling about being stopped/harassed/cited for some infraction etc.

      Be glad you had some sort of Police presence instead of being a victim
      and cursing the Police for failing to protect you. Perspective much?

    3. Been down Michigan Ave recently, north of the river? Literally 6-8 officers at each intersection. Plus more in the medians south of Erie. I used to live there. And five years ago....Wasn't it about five years ago when all hell broke loose on Michigan Ave. Do you realize that the COPS working on Michigan ave are there to maintain a visible deterrent to crime along the mag mile. Next time stop a cop and ask the same question you'll be pretty surprised, remember they pay taxes too.

  15. Nice to see the comprehensive CWB analysis on police staffing at the district level has been picked up by the Second City Cop blog - a popular site for cops.
    Kudo's to CWB on an excellent job!

    1. Thank you for the shout out, Anonymous. This is an important story and it's good to see it spread as far as possible.

  16. Okay, the city "got" fewer cops under Rahm, but look on the bright side -- now you "got" Bike Lanes!!
    Woo-Hoo!...Yippee!... thank you Rahm, we loves ya pal and ya "got" our votes! (snort-giggle-snort)

  17. Headcount looks flat. Plus the city is broke, so where is the money coming from to hire more cops? We are already taxed in total at some of the highest rates in the country. And the overpaid public sector unions won't go along with reasonable cuts. So what to do? If someone doesn't like it, they are free to move.

    1. Couple of things:

      - The pensions and insurance coverage were promised to the union workers as part of their prior work agreements. Those who suggest the city should renege on previous commitments to the detriment of retirees and those working toward retirement strike us as selfish, not to mention smarmy. The currently proposed police contract does call for restructuring of their benefits going forward. Also remember the pension crisis is not the result of union workers being greedy. It is the result of politicians using money to operate the city rather than fulfilling the municipality's obligated pension payments.

      - Those who suggest that people who don't like things as they are should move also strike us as selfish and, frankly, asshole-ish. Communities die quickly when the attitude is a shrug and an "oh well." Beware of what you wish for.

      - We are not seeking MORE cops. We believe we should have the SAME level of police protection as we did 3 years ago. In other words, the city should stop taking the important things—like police service—away.

    2. Aspire to live in a neighborhood where people who give a shit have all moved away. You'll deserve what you get.

    3. Yeah Okay!

      As your Alderman and Mayor vote themselves a 6% plus raises per year, by a voice vote for what are supposed to be part time jobs! While you people are wiping your bums!

      Chicago Alderman make over $100,000 a year with benefits, perks and kickbacks! I want one of those jobs too!

  18. I'm a 28 year veteran of the CPD and it's really nice to read the truth. It's just sad Rahm's minions in the MSM cover for him repeatedly. I work on the FAR southwest side of the city, an area populated by many city workers, not unlike your area and our manpower is roughly 100 officers less than it was about 10 years ago.
    But you're 100% right, Rahm & McCarthy are only concerned about the homicide rate. That being said, I agree that's one of THE most important stats but neither really cares about our areas of the city where residents are hammered at tax time and don't receive anywhere near the handouts and city services that the inner-city residents do. Because we take interest in keeping our communities safe and have more civilized residents, we pay the price by losing our police officers.
    P.S. Thanks for telling your readers not to bash us for a sometimes slow response time. Most of us are out here with the right intention, which is to give the best service possible. Thanks for getting the information the politicians don't want the people to know, out there.

  19. You reap what you sow. Keep voting for incompetents and you'll keep getting incompetence.

  20. OK Rahm, deliver officers if you want to get to 50%. Northside is your base, but if you pull our police nobody is going to get too excited to vote for you PERIOD. Listen up.