I will rebuild and maintain the Bureau of Detectives’ strength at a minimum 1,200. I will provide additional support for the Bureau by recalling 400 former CPD detectives and officers with detective experience. The “Retiree Corp” is intended to support, not replace current or vacant detective positions. They will provide the critical support needed to get violent offenders off the street. Over the longer term, it will be my intent to increase the “active” strength even more to bring Chicago’s officer level closer to that of other major cities. Even with a restored force of 1,200 we will have little more than half the detectives as percentage of overall officer strength than cities like New York and Los Angeles have.
Clearance rates on violent crimes, shootings and homicides are at an abysmal all-time low. The detective rank has shrunk to below where it once was, overburdening detectives who are already struggling with limited resources and larger spans of territory to cover. Judges and prosecutors are demanding more than ever before from law enforcement in criminal cases. Standards for charging a criminal are higher now than ever before.
Because the Bureau of Detectives has shrunk, you have detectives doing “assembly-line” homicides investigations. Assembly-line homicide investigations occur when you have too many cases and not enough detectives or support. If there are enough leads that could result in an arrest, detectives will continue to work the case. If not the detective will move on to the next case leaving the previous case unsolved. This is the casualty of the lack of detective manpower and resources. By hiring back retired detectives or officers with detective experience, the current assembly-line homicide investigations can stop.
The hired back detectives will provide investigative support in the following areas:
- Case review and case management
- Witness follow up
- Subpoena support
- Obtaining digital evidence and evidence coordination
- Transporting of witnesses for interviews or Grand Jury.
- Social media investigations
While there is no substitute on the part of the State’s Attorney’s Office and the courts for aggressive prosecution and long sentences for violent offenders and gun law violators, it begins with an arrest.
To qualify for the position, the retiree would have to have left the department in good standing and be free from any Internal Affairs or Cook County State Attorney investigations upon their retirement. Retired Detectives who return to these investigative support positions would be required to undergo continual training to ensure understanding of current department practices and procedures as well as the most up to date state and local laws.
The are NO obstacles to hiring retired detectives
Hiring retired detectives and officers with detective experience would be a fast way to provide the Bureau of Detectives with the additional support and experience the need during these challenging times. These are not replacement employees and will not be filling existing vacancies. There are no obstacles to bringing seasoned experienced and accomplished officers back into fold.
- Government agencies, including the CPD, have been hiring back retired employees for years. The retirees do not displace existing employees or fill existing vacant positions but serve to supplement existing resources.
- Major police departments engaging in hire back programs include Denver, Dallas, New York and even London, were the city hired 400 Constables. New York’s public safety surge back in the 90’s included the hiring of over retired 400 detectives.
- City rules regarding residency could be waived as the retirees would be part-time contract employees.
- Health insurance can easily be extended.
- There are no union issues if there is no displacement.
Remember, these are supplemental positions designed to provide additional support. There are no excuses or obstacles for taking this common-sense approach to quickly enhancing detective resources. The City’s response to everything seems to be to cancel more days off, pay more overtime and to move more officers off their beats.