SURGE OR NO SURGE?: The number of beat cops are down across the city, the Sun-Times reports. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

According to a May 4 Chicago Sun-Times report, the Chicago Police Department has fewer beat cops today than the department had when they hired an additional 1,400 cops roughly two years ago. 

Those extra officers, which the Sun-Times notes have “outpaced the 862 retirements from the department during the same period,” were placed into the academy between October 2016 and March. 

Some of the districts that experienced the greatest decrease in beat cops during that period are located on the West Side. 

Chicago Police Department Supt. Eddie Johnson said that most of those new hires had not yet been assigned to districts 

According to data released by CPD after a public records request the Sun-Times made under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the 10th, 11th and 15th Districts all sustained net losses of beat cops from Oct. 19, 2016 to March 29, 2018. 

The 10th, 11th and 15th Districts had a net loss of 29, 32 and 10 beat cops, respectively, during that 17-month period, according to the Sun-Times analysis. 

“The number of beat cops assigned to districts citywide was 6,046 as of March 29,” the paper’s analysis showed. “That was a drop of nearly 200 officers since October 2016, when there were 6,244 beat cops on patrol in districts.” 

The Sun-Times also showed that during that 17-month period, “the city’s police districts added many sergeants, lieutenants and field training officers in the first year of the planned two-year hiring surge.” 

The number of sergeants went from 635 to 669, the number of lieutenants went from 147 to 188 and the number of field training officers went from 103 to 305, the Sun-Times reported. 

Barbara West, the former 15th District commander who is currently chief of the Bureau of Operational Development, told the Sun-Times that the additional supervisors will be necessary to “mentor and guide” the new beat cops before they’re assigned to districts. 

Read the full Chicago Sun-Times story at: