“The Chicago Police Department must be equipped to effectively address public safety in ALL neighborhoods.”
Any organization as large as the Chicago Police Department is bound to have some members who improperly keep confidences among themselves. But the real question is how does leadership promote open dialog within the department and what can and should be done to create an operational environment that effectively manages CPD personnel and reduces the potential for violation of the rules.
Reductions in police strength, the absence of effective and redundant training, delays in properly equipping and managing officers have undermined the ability of police to work effectively and with accountability. A Vallas Administration would immediately tackle these failures that begin in the mayor’s office by ensuring that the police have the numbers, the equipment, the training and the supervision to do their jobs and reduce crime.
This is not a finance issue. It is a leadership issue. Funding can be secured by reprioritizing the CPD budget, sharing costs with other City agencies and raising additional funds through the use of “payment in lieu of Taxes” that other cities locally and across the country are employing to raise money from resource-rich tax-exempt institutions to help fund critical city services from which they benefit.
Further, proper funding and equipping of CPD would provide savings to substantially pay for itself. Much of the cost of this could be covered simply by a reduction in overtime (currently ranging from $50 million to $100 million more than when the CPD was last fully staffed) and in lawsuits ($300 million in settlement payouts since 2011, plus $20 million annually in outside legal fees.
Providing CPD with the proper tools will not solve the root causes of crime. That can only be accomplished by ensuring that all Chicagoans in every neighborhood have access to quality schools, employment opportunities, certificated occupational training, which also will be addressed in the course of this upcoming campaign.
But an effective police department that is properly staffed and equipped and is not at odds with the communities it serves or the mayor’s office is also essential to making certain that residents in all communities can look forward to a safe environment – now and in the future.