(Guns Save Life) – The size of Chicago’s police force has been on the decline for years. A lack of money for new cadet classes and the never-ending stream of retirements has taken the Chicago Police Department thousands of officers below its strength in the 1990s.
Today’s officers working conditions don’t look at all like the set of the new TV-series Chicago PD.
In the real Chicago, cops are driving high-mileage cars and SUVs in poor condition with chronic mechanical issues. Police station houses are often in fair to poor condition with homeless people sometimes sleeping in what should be secure areas.
Morale at the department is far from upbeat, thanks in part to horribly unpopular police superintendents.
Former FBI agent Jody Weis was chief under Daley’s final years and was known as “J-Fled” after fleeing the sound of gunfire during a press conference.
Weis was replaced by the present superintendent Garry McCarthy, a hard-drinker known as the “streetlight assassin” for drunkenly shooting out streetlights after leaving a bar earlier in his career.
Despite poor and sometimes unsafe working conditions, low morale and shrinking numbers, Chicago’s Finest somehow manage to keep half a lid on Chicago’s boiling pot of violent crime.
Of course, the political animal Garry McCarthy has been bragging for weeks, citing his leadership and policies within the Chicago Police Department for a reputed reduction in Chicago’s insanely high violent crime numbers.
While McCarthy was quick to claim credit, he left out the two true reasons for those improved statistics.
He didn’t give credit to Chicago’s record cold temperatures these past four months. Cold temperatures tend to keep layabouts and hoodlums off the streets.
Garry McCarthy’s crime stats are also highly suspect. Chicago Magazine just exposed the shameful manipulation of crime data, reclassifying as many as one-quarter of crimes as non-criminal incidents in the past three years.
Everything began to return to normalcy when Chicago experienced it’s first warm weekend of Spring 2014. Four people were killed and about three dozen more were wounded in an explosion of criminal violence during the second weekend of April.
Did Chief McCarthy cite his (poor) leadership and (failed) policies for this most recent orgy of violence?
Of course not.
He blamed the guns: “While Chicago continues to see reductions in crime and violence, there’s obviously much more work to be done and we continue to be challenged by lax state and federal gun laws.”
[Editor’s note: Yes, we know proper English is “Fewer cops” in the headline, but we’re targeting the low-information crowd with that headline.]