The Chicago Police Department is Spending Record Amounts on Overtime
It says something about crime in Chicago when the Police Department is on pace to spend nearly $200 million on overtime in 2017. This is 40 percent more than last year’s record and is occurring despite a two-year hiring surge that is supposed to allow for attrition and increase the force by 970 officers.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, officers ran up $30.9 million in overtime during January, February and March alone, and these are months when crime typically is lower due to cold weather.
This increase in overtime spending happened even as the police academy added a large number of classes needed to comply with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s two-year hiring surge. Mayor Emanuel originally argued that overtime was a more flexible and cost-effective substitute for police hiring because the city doesn’t have to pay the cost of pensions and benefits for new officers. However, right before a major policy address on the outbreak of violence, the mayor revealed plans to not only fill hundreds of police vacancies, but also to add 516 patrol officers, 92 field-training officers, 112 sergeants, 50 lieutenants and 200 detectives.
The reason behind the increase in police personnel and overtime is the continued high overall and violent crime rate in Chicago, including, murder, rape, and robbery. According to Wikipedia (Annual murder totals in Chicago by year), Chicago was responsible for nearly half of 2016’s increase in homicides in the U.S., though national crime rates stayed near historic lows.
An increase in police officers is bound to lead to more arrests, and if you have been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, a conviction could bring penalties that may include jail time, fines, penalty assessments and other costs. You will also have a criminal record that will follow you forever and negatively impact many aspects of your life.
At this sensitive time, you need all the help you can get. The experienced and seasoned Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the seriousness of your situation and offer aggressive representation for clients facing criminal charges. We know the courts and the criminal justice system, and how to plea bargain, negotiate guidelines and recognize when to take your case to trial. We offer a free consultation to gather information about your situation and look at all viable defense options, so call us at 630-305-0222 today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Police Efforts to Cut Crime
In addition to increasing overtime and the numbers of police officers, Chicago has been making other efforts to cut the soaring crime rate. These include:
- Integrated Emergency Response Center
Built in 1995, to coordinate response to natural disasters, gang violence, and terrorist attacks, the center is integrated with more than 2,000 surveillance cameras, communications with all levels of city government, and a direct link to the National Counterterrorism Center.
- Police Observation Devices (PODs)
In 2003, the Chicago Police Department began installing PODs in high crime areas. These are bulletproof cameras that can rotate 360 degrees and zoom to a fine level of detail. There are now 20,000 cameras in operation in Chicago which are used to monitor street crimes and direct police when crimes are occurring.
- Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting (CLEAR)
This is a web application tool developed by the Chicago Police Department to assist city residents in problem-solving and combating crime in their neighborhoods. The application enables citizens to search the Chicago Police Department’s database of reported crime.
Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for a Free Consultation.
If you are accused of a crime in Illinois, your future is at stake, so you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find. Your case may seem impossible, but with skillful representation you have a chance. Remember, the law places a heavy burden on the government, and you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Illinois criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process to come up with an effective defense strategy. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
We are aggressive litigators, and we will work with you to answer all your questions and make sure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case. We represent clients in DuPage County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, and the greater Chicagoland area.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call 630-305-0222 today, or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.