CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago police officers have had their days off canceled – with the possibility of 12-hour shifts on the table – as we head into Memorial Day weekend.
All Officers’ Days have been canceled for full-time sworn members effective last Tuesday. This will remain in place until Tuesday, May 31.
It comes as a staff shortage impacts how the department tackles crime in the city.
CBS 2’s Tara Molina got her hands on the numbers involved in the CPD staffing shortage and brought them to a security expert. Molina learned that more than 750 officers had left the department since this time last year – and that adds to what was already considered a shortage.
The CPD is budgeted for more than 1,300 officers than it currently has – and crime has been a major concern in the city lately. From the deadly shootings downtown to the increase in violence on Chicago Transit Authority property and the city’s new curfews and restrictions, we’ve been following it all up close on CBS 2.
But beyond the yellow tape and flashing lights, there are numbers that tell another part of Chicago’s crime story – those 753 officers who have left the police department since this time last year.
Through public records requests and follow-ups with the Chicago police, we got a better picture of the shortage. For example, the CPD is budgeted for 13,176 agents and currently has 11,652. At this time a year ago, there were 12,405.
So far this year, 214 officers have been hired, but the number of hires was double or more before the pandemic. More than 1,200 agents were hired in 2018.
There is no figure available for officers who have retired or resigned so far this year.
Meanwhile, according to Chicago police, there are currently 296 academy recruits — with a new class of about 85 to 90 starting June 1. They don’t make up for the lost numbers yet.
“These are trends we need to start tackling now. That means they’re only going to get worse in five and six months,” said security expert Phil Andrew. “Recruiting new police officers, replenishing the ranks, must be a priority.”
Andrew has decades of experience as a member of the FBI. He said the shortage had real implications in Chicago.
“It immediately impacts individual units that cannot be fully staffed, and it puts the city in a position where it has to play a ball game with where it has to deploy its now more limited police force.” , did he declare. .
Andrew called the plans heading into this weekend demonstrative of why the staffing issue is a concern – for more than one reason.
“The first thing we’re doing to try to fill the staffing gap is to move to 12-hour shifts and no days off – and having unrested officers who don’t care about their own well-being is really , really difficult,” he said.
Aldus. Matt O’Shea (19th) has just submitted an order in an attempt to get police to move to Chicago – saying in a statement that the stress of canceled days off and continued departures is only making the crisis worse:
“The number is determined during the City’s budgeting process which takes place each fall. Through this process, the CPD and all departments present a budget that represents what they estimate they will need for the following year in terms of staffing. and other funding.
“Apart from the obvious, one of the biggest impacts of this is an increased reliance on overtime and canceled days off. Voluntary overtime is not a problem for me. However, at this point, the agents are exhausted. mandatory overtime shifts and often 12-hour days. It is unreasonable to expect people to work so hard. Officers and their families tell many stories about missed graduations, family celebrations, special events, and more. If we had more officers, we wouldn’t be so dependent on canceled days off and our officers would get the break they need from a very stressful job. Canceled days off increase stress for officers, causing more and more of them to leave the force. This departure only aggravates the personnel crisis.
“Increased stress is also a factor in a profession that already has mental health and wellbeing issues.
“This shortage is what led me to introduce my order this week creating financial incentives for the recruitment and retention of officers.”